Apple’s not giving up on fighting what it considers to be the good fight when it comes to immigration. On Thursday, a coalition of businesses including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and others urged President Trump not to abandon a program that allows the spouses of high-skilled immigrants to work in the U.S. while they are in the process of seeking permanent residence.
The initiative was introduced by President Barack Obama in 2015, but could be abandoned by the Trump administration as part of its crackdown on immigration.
“We represent employers who are committed to growing the U.S. economy and creating jobs for American workers,” the companies argued, speaking through various Washington, D.C. lobbying groups, including the Information Technology Industry Council. “However, we cannot achieve these goals unless companies can recruit and retain the most qualified employees.”
The companies make an economic, rather than moral, argument; suggesting that ending the program could mean talented foreigners may not be as willing to come and work in the U.S.
“Employers would also face an increased risk that their valued, long-term employees will choose to leave their companies for other employment opportunities in countries that allow these workers and their families to raise their standard of living,” the companies argue.
Clashing with President Trump on immigration
This isn’t the first time Apple, or the broader Silicon Valley, has clashed with Trump over immigration matters. Earlier this month, CEO Tim Cook joined more than 100 prominent CEOs in signing an open letter urging Congress to pass legislation to protect young immigrants threatened by the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
In early 2017, Apple also took exception to Trump’s controversial executive order temporarily barring 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.