With continued lobbying from the tech industry against ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Microsoft has made a bold statement to show that they will go to great lengths to prevent harm from coming to their employees.
In an official statement from Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith, Microsoft has made it very clear that it will do all it can to ensure its current employees remain working in the United States regardless of their past. "If the government seeks to deport any one of them, we will provide and pay for their legal counsel. We will also file an amicus brief and explore whether we can directly intervene in any such case. In short, if Dreamers who are our employees are in court, we will be by their side."
Regardless of individual opinions on DACA, a highly defiant statement such as this from Microsoft is out of character given that passing a new bill through Congress could be months away. Microsoft has encouraged the public to ask Congress to provide continued protection to immigrants that are living alongside citizens as equals.
"But we need to put the humanitarian needs of these 800,000 people on the legislative calendar before a tax bill."
Currently, Microsoft has identified 39 employees that would be affected should DACA be put to an end. Halting protection for immigrants that arrived as minors would put 800,000 people at risk of legal action and potentially deportation. According to Microsoft, immigrants living in the US are essential to economic success. The company believes it is a humanitarian requirement to allow them to remain where they now call home.
There is still time for Congress to act on DACA, so Microsoft may never have to start funding legal counsel for its own employees. However, the message has been made loud and clear that the tech industry is adamantly against the removal of long-term immigrants.