Companies from a broad range of industries, including technology, finance and autos, swiftly condemned the Trump administration’s decision to end a program preventing the deportation of immigrants illegally brought to the U.S. as children -- a group known as Dreamers.
“This is a sad day for our country,” Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg wrote on the social media service. “The decision to end DACA is not just wrong. It is particularly cruel to offer young people the American Dream, encourage them to come out of the shadows and trust our government, and then punish them for it.”
Businesses underscored the economic contributions made by children of immigrants, many of whom are employed by the largest companies in the U.S. Some called on Congress to pass new legislation, while others threatened legal action.
“Wells Fargo believes young, undocumented immigrants brought to America as children should have the opportunity to stay,” spokeswoman Jennifer Dunn wrote in an email. “DACA is relevant to our team members and the communities we serve.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, calling it “an unconstitutional exercise.” Trump will delay the action for six months so Congress can work on legislation to codify the protections President Barack Obama created in 2012. “Congress, get ready to do your job -- DACA!” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.
“Dreamers are our neighbors, our friends and our co-workers. This is their home. Congress needs to act now to #DefendDACA. #WithDreamers” tweeted Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Alphabet’s Google.
Software maker Microsoft called on Congress to upend its planned fall legislative calendar to address the issue and said it may go to court to defend Dreamers within its ranks. “We need to put the humanitarian needs of these 800,000 people on the legislative calendar before a tax bill,” Microsoft Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith wrote in a blog post.
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Many executives had urged Trump not to scrap DACA last week. The tech sector has been particularly outspoken on the issue because it employs many immigrants and their children. Microsoft says 39 of its employees are affected, while Apple has 250. “I stand with them,” Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote in a recent tweet. “They deserve our respect as equals and a solution rooted in American values.”
Javier Palomarez, CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, resigned from Trump’s diversity coalition, calling Tuesday’s decision “inhumane and economically harmful.”
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., said that when people come to the U.S. to “learn, work hard and give back to their communities, we should allow them to stay.”
Digital music subscription service Spotify created a playlist titled “No Moment for Silence” that features immigrant and immigrant-supporting artists sharing messages of support.