The Deferred Action for Childhood Act, otherwise known as DACA, is an Obama-era United States government program known for protecting hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants and helping them remain in the country. Reports posted on Fox News and elsewhere have indicated that the new Trump Administration may end up dismantling the program, ending the protection for the individuals who are in the program and are known as DREAMers. In reaction, Microsoft President Brad Smith and CEO Satya Nadella are lashing back, with Smith calling the possible change a “step backwards for our entire nation.”
Smith addresses his concerns about the possible end to DACA in a lengthy post to the On the Issues Blog. The Microsoft President writes that an end to DACA will lead to economic consequences, job loss, put individuals at risk of deportation, and “disrupt the lives of these individuals who willingly came forward to register with the federal government.” According to Smith, DACA is experienced in a “very real way at Microsoft” since 27 employees are beneficiaries of the program.
They are software engineers with top technical skills; finance professionals driving our business ambitions forward; and retail and sales associates connecting customers to our technologies. Each of them is actively participating in our collective mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. They are not only our colleagues, but our friends, our neighbors and valued members of the Microsoft community.
Instead of ending DACA, Smith calls on legislators to enact the DREAM Act, and or another more permanent solution to help protect DREAMers. “These employees, along with other DREAMers, should continue to have the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to our country’s strength and prosperity,” explained Smith.
In a separate post published on LinkedIn, Satya Nadella expanded on Smith’s comments by issuing a much more personal statement. The Microsoft CEO remarked that he is a “product of two uniquely American attributes.”
As I shared at the White House in June, I am a product of two uniquely American attributes: the ingenuity of American technology reaching me where I was growing up, fueling my dreams, and the enlightened immigration policy that allowed me to pursue my dreams.
There is no question in my mind that a priority must be to create more jobs and opportunity for every American citizen. On top of this, smart immigration can help our economic growth and global competitiveness.
Nadella remarked that Microsoft fully supports the DREAMers who work at the company, and mentions that Microsoft always stands for diversity and opportunity for everyone.
It is still not clear if or when the Trump administration will make an official public announcement of the end to DACA, but it no doubt will be faced with more criticism. As you may recall, Microsoft and many major tech giants spoke out against presidentTrump’s executive order on immigration and the travel ban.