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The American tech industry and Donald Trump have once again clashed over the issue of immigration. This time, reports that the president will soon end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program has brought condemnation from the CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Facebook Google, and around 350 more companies.
Introduced by the Obama administration in 2012, DACA protects young immigrants who came to the US as children from deportation on the condition they meet certain requirements. During his election campaign, Trump had promised to end the program before seemingly backing down, but he will reportedly be eliminating DACA as early as today. The fact that ten states are threatening legal action if DACA continues beyond September 5 may have prompted the move.
In a joint open letter addressed to Trump, industry leaders wrote: "Dreamers [the name given to those on the DACA program] are vital to the future of our companies and our economy. With them, we grow and create jobs. They are part of why we will continue to have a global competitive advantage."
Immigration reform group FWD.us is collecting more signatures for the letter.
In a separate statement from Microsoft, Satya Nadella lent his voice to the argument. "As I shared at the White House in June, I am a product of two uniquely American attributes: the ingenuity of American technology reaching me where I was growing up, fueling my dreams, and the enlightened immigration policy that allowed me to pursue my dreams."
"Smart immigration can help our economic growth and global competitiveness," writes the CEO.
In a Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg, one of the co-founders of FWD.us, called on Trump to retain DACA. "Today I join business leaders across the country in calling on our president to keep the DACA program in place and protect Dreamers from fear of deportation. We're also calling on Congress to finally pass the Dream Act or another permanent, legislative solution that Dreamers deserve."
Ride-hailing giant Uber, fresh from appointing Dara Khosrowshahi as its new CEO, also put out a statement: "Dreamers grew up here, live here, and are contributing to our communities and our economy," a spokesperson said. "Their contributions make America more competitive and they deserve the opportunity to work, study, and pursue the American dream."
Trump has had a turbulent relationship with industry heads during his time in office. The president recently disbanded two advisory councils after several CEOs left in protest, and he lost eight National Infrastructure Advisory Council members last week. The immigration ban and the US pulling out of the Paris Accord also led to multiple resignations.