HOUSTON — U.S. tech giants, including Indian American-led Google and Microsoft, as well as Apple, have pledged to stand by their employees after the Trump administration scrapped an amnesty program that granted work permits to immigrants who arrived in the country illegally as children.
President Donald Trump Sept. 5 scrapped the Obama-era program known as Deferred Action for Children Arrival, a move likely to impact 800,000 undocumented workers including more than 7,000 Indian Americans.
Microsoft and Apple are offering the most full-throated defense of "Dreamers" undocumented individuals who have been in the U.S. since they were young and registered with the federal government to get work permits.
"You're going to have to go through us to deport Dreamers who work here," Microsoft said, adding it will stick by its employees affected by any change to DACA, even in court.
"If Congress fails to act, our company will exercise its legal rights properly to help protect our employees," Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith wrote in a blog post.
"If the government seeks to deport any one of them, we will provide and pay for their legal counsel," Smith wrote, of the 39 Dreamers who work at Microsoft. He said the company would also seek to intervene in those cases.
"Dreamers make our country & communities stronger. We stand for diversity and economic opportunity for everyone. Legislation to protect 800,000 #Dreamers is an economic & humanitarian imperative. Congress needs to act quickly," Microsoft’s Indian American CEO Satya Nadella tweeted.
Google's Indian American CEO Sundar Pichai took to Twitter to call on Congress to act to defend the DACA.
"Dreamers are our neighbors, our friends and our co-workers. This is their home. Congress needs to act now to #DefendDACA. #WithDreamers," Pichai tweeted.
Apple CEO Tim Cook condemned the Trump administration's decision and pledged in a note to employees to offer any employees affected by the change the "support they need, including the advice of immigration experts."
Apple will "fight" for its Dreamers, Cook tweeted.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, meanwhile, spoke out against the decision to rescind DACA and encouraged users to call Congress to support a measure that would enact the DACA program created by an executive order by then-President Obama into law.
In related news, AP adds from New York: Fifteen states and the District of Columbia sued Sept. 6 to block President Trump’s plan to end DACA — an act Washington state’s attorney general called “a dark time for our country.”
The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of New York. The plaintiffs were New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the action violates the due process rights of the immigrants. He said he fears the information the immigrants provided the government to participate in DACA could be used against them.