Tim Cook signs letter supporting DACA immigration rights in U.S.

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Silicon Valley supports the rights of immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as kids.
Photo: Apple

Tim Cook has joined the CEOs of Microsoft, Amazon, HP, Google, and others in signing a letter from immigration reform group FWD.us.

The letter asks that President Donald Trump keep in place legal protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. Without this protection, they could be subject to deportation.

Defending kids for deportation

“Unless we act now to preserve the DACA program, all 780,000 hardworking young people will lose their ability to work legally in this country, and every one of them will be at immediate risk of deportation,” the letter notes.

The letter argues that immigration is vital to the economy, and “with them, we grow and create jobs.” You can read it in full below:

To: President Donald J. Trump
To: Speaker Paul Ryan; Leader Nancy Pelosi; Leader Mitch McConnell; and Leader Charles E. Schumer

As entrepreneurs and business leaders, we are concerned about new developments in immigration policy that threaten the future of young undocumented immigrants brought to America as children.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows nearly 800,000 Dreamers the basic opportunity to work and study without the threat of deportation, is in jeopardy. All DACA recipients grew up in America, registered with our government, submitted to extensive background checks, and are diligently giving back to our communities and paying income taxes. More than 97 percent are in school or in the workforce, 5 percent started their own business, 65 percent have purchased a vehicle, and 16 percent have purchased their first home. At least 72 percent of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies count DACA recipients among their employees.

Unless we act now to preserve the DACA program, all 780,000 hardworking young people will lose their ability to work legally in this country, and every one of them will be at immediate risk of deportation. Our economy would lose $460.3 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions.
Dreamers 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.

We call on President Trump to preserve the DACA program. We call on Congress to pass the bipartisan DREAM Act or legislation that provides these young people raised in our country the permanent solution they deserve.

Clashing with Trump on immigration

This isn’t the first time that Tim Cook — or Silicon Valley in general — has taken issue with immigration-related issues during the Trump presidency.

At the start of this year, exception was taken to Trump’s controversial executive order temporarily bars people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, as well as halting all immigration for 120 days.

In the aftermath, Cook said that Apple employees affected by the ban would be able to draw on Apple’s expert HR, legal and security teams.

Apple later joined other tech companies, including Alphabet, Facebook and Uber, in penning a letter opposing the policy. That letter also defended protections offered under the DACA program.