Hundreds of business titans are joining forces to urge President Donald Trump to maintain protections for immigrants who are covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The program, better known by the acronym DACA, is an Obama-era policy that shields immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the US illegally as children.
Trump would order a six-month delay before a ban is enforced to allow Congress to pass legislation mitigating the effect that DACA’s demise may have on the nearly 800,000 immigrants who benefit from it.
The president was expected to make an official announcement on Tuesday, ahead of a deadline by which several attorneys general threatened to sue over the program if Trump did not take action.
Executives from General Motors, Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and many other companies echoed other business leaders in their letter to Trump.
“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,” their joint letter said.
“Our economy would lose $US460.3 billion from the national GDP and $US24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions,” if DACA recipients lose their protections and face deportation, the letter continued, calling those recipients, also known as Dreamers, “vital to the future of our companies and our economy.”
In addition to a website dedicated to the message, the letter was also posted on FWD.us, a bipartisan organisation backed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other top tech-industry executives. Dozens of them have signed the letter, including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who wrote in a separate statement on Thursday, “DACA recipients bring a wide array of educational and professional backgrounds that enable them to contribute in crucial ways to our nation’s workforce.”
Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post: “I stand with the Dreamers — the young people brought to our country by their parents. Many have lived here as long as they can remember. Dreamers have a special love for this country because they can’t take living here for granted.”
Silicon Valley luminaries and corporate CEOs have increasingly leaned in on Trump recently. Several chief executives rebuked the president over his handling of the white nationalist Charlottesville protests that turned deadly on August 12.
Trump has previously wavered on his support for DACA, saying in February, “We are going to deal with DACA with heart,” and calling the deliberations “very, very difficult.”
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