Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, along with 100 other CEOs are urging the United States Congress to pass a bill that will protect young immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. If you’re not familiar with the program, DACA allows about 800,000 illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. at age 16, or younger, to be protected from deportation. This protection has been extended by two years, but the current administration wants to get rid of this program altogether. In an open letter to House and Senate leaders, the group is calling on lawmakers to introduce legislation supporting the Dreamers by Friday. Friday, by the way, is the deadline for which Congress has to pass a bill in order to avert a government shut down.
The DACA program doesn’t expire until March 5, but the CEO’s are saying that the government needs time to implement a new program before that deadline. The letter reads:
“We write to urge Congress to act immediately and pass a permanent bipartisan legislative solution to enable Dreamers who are currently living, working, and contributing to our communities to continue doing so. The imminent termination of the DACA program is creating an impending crisis for workforces across the country. “In addition to causing a tremendous upheaval in the lives of DACA employees, failure to act in time will lead to businesses losing valuable talent, cause disruptions in the workforce, and will result in significant costs,” the group wrote. “While delay or inaction will cause significant negative impact to businesses, hundreds of thousands of deserving young people across the country are counting on you to work in a bipartisan way to pass permanent legislative protection for Dreamers without further delay.”
Who else has signed this letter? Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg; Microsoft President, Brad Smith; Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Verizon CEO, Lowell McAdam to name a few. What might appeal to the current administration is a CATO Institute study that states by ending the DACA program, the United States could see a $215 billion decline in the gross domestic product. Which is a huge decline. Maybe I should reiterate billions?
Cook has been consistent in his support to find a legislative solution to ensure that Dreamers aren’t deported. Trump made an announcement back in September that indicated DACA would be phased out over six months. At that time, Cook sent an email out to Apple employees saying that they would try to help Congress come up with a solution. On Tuesday, a federal judge in California issued a nationwide injunction ordering the Trump administration to maintain the DACA program on a nationwide basis while legal challenges to the president’s decision go forward.
Trump seems to be making a weird 180 degree turn on this. In a recent development, he has changed his stance in which he’s now saying that he’s open to compromise and seemed to express support for a number of options to legalize Dreamers. While that makes me happy, I am concerned by the fact that he’s changing his tune on this one. Maybe the 100 CEOs who are speaking out against this move is having some impact on the initiative?