You’ve all probably heard, by now, about Donald Trump’s termination of a major immigration program, known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. What you might not know is that Apple and Microsoft have pledged to protect workers who face the risk of legal trouble and even deportation. The termination of DACA has been widely supported by the business community. And likely only by Trump supporters. This was one of the platforms that Trump ran on during the 2016 campaign. So, if nothing else, he’s acting on his promises. Albeit, garbage promises, but promises nonetheless.
In a statement, Microsoft has said that it would provide aid wherever possible. Including paying for the affected employees legal counsel and intervening in court cases to defend the program. Which is amazing. But will it actually have any impact?
DACA has allowed more than 800,000 young adults to obtain authorization to stay and work in the country. These young adults were brought to the United States illegally when they were children. The rationale to allow them to stay in the first place was because this is the only home they’ve ever known. Many of these children were brought here as infants. They didn’t know any better. I’m not blaming their parents, but you certainly can’t blame an infant for actions of their parents. Trumps decision to eliminate the program, leaves many individuals, known as Dreamers in a legal limbo.
Microsoft has called upon Congress to restore DACA and to do it before getting into any other legislative priorities, including tax reform. Brad Smith, the President and Chief Legal Officer for Microsoft made the following statement: “We say this even though Microsoft, like many other companies, cares greatly about modernizing hte tax system and making it fairer and more competitive. But we need to put the humanitarian needs of these 800,000 people on the legislative calendar before a tax bill.” Interesting, don’t you think? Trump is being faced with the choice between being a human or tax reform. Do you see the irony?
Apple CEO, Tim Cook made a similar statement to its employees, nothing he is deeply dismayed by Trump’s decision and he pledged that Apple would “work with members of Congress from both parties to advocate for a legislative solution that provides permanent protections for all the Dreamers in our country”. Cook also said that the company would provide the affected Apple employees (roughly 250) with the support they need including the advice of immigration experts.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg also made statements against Trump’s decision. What is interesting about this is how much money the tech industry spends on lobbying the government. But immigration reform hasn’t been a priority of the law makers. That’s interesting to me just because if a large industry, like tech, can’t have an impact on this issue – who can? I’m not saying that to sound cynical, but it feels like a hard battle to win. Which seems to be the theme since Trump became President. Unilateral and arbitrary decisions being made without any ability for recourse.
What’s also interesting to me is how this looks. Sure, if the Dreamers were out there running amok, I could see taking some kind of action. But they’re not. They’re not criminals. They’re not doing anything wrong. They didn’t ask to move to America. Maybe it’s not something that they would have wanted. But that’s their home now, so how can you take that away from them? My point is that this looks racist. Like a lot of things coming out of the President lately. Maybe always, but lately for sure. It’s just one more way to homogenize the country. It’s just one more way to take away rights from citizens. Where will it end? At what point will Congress take a good look at what’s happening and actually fight back?
None of these decisions are making America great. They’re making it a sad, and even violent place to live. Not because of the immigrants, but because of the hatred being spread by one person. One person, who happens to hold a lot of power. One person who has made it his mission to white wash the nation. It’s not right and we all know it. I hope that Congress will take a look at this issue in a real way to understand the impacts that this will have on the nation.