Microsoft is taking a hard line on the Trump administration’s plans to end the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program, or DACA, in the next six months, making it clear that it won’t stand idly by if the government seeks to deport any of its employees currently covered by the program.
After already publishing a blog post calling on Congress to prioritize a bill to protect “Dreamers” — about 800,000 children of undocumented immigrants — Microsoft President Brad Smith told NPR on Tuesday that the government is “going to have to go through us to get that person,” referring to any Microsoft employees targeted for deportation as a result of DACA potentially ending.
“There is nothing that we will be pushing on more strongly for Congress to act on,” Smith said in the NPR interview. “We put a stake in the ground. We care about a tax reform bill. The entire business community cares about a tax reform. And yet it is very clear today a tax reform bill needs to be set aside until the Dreamers are taken care of. They have a deadline that expires in six months. Tax reform can wait.”
Microsoft said earlier Tuesday that it is prepared for the possibility that Congress will not be able to pass a law within six months, putting Dreamers at risk for deportation. The Redmond, Wash.-based company said it will fight for Microsoft Dreamers in court.
“For the 39 Dreamers that we know of who are our employees, our commitment is clear,” Smith wrote in the blog post. “If Congress fails to act, our company will exercise its legal rights properly to help protect our employees. If the government seeks to deport any one of them, we will provide and pay for their legal counsel. We will also file an amicus brief and explore whether we can directly intervene in any such case. In short, if Dreamers who are our employees are in court, we will be by their side.”
Microsoft is among several tech companies that voiced opposition to the administration’s announcement. DACA, created during the Obama administration in 2012, gives people brought to the country as children access to temporary work permits and protection from deportation as long as they submit biometric data to the government and keep a clean record.
Last week FWD.us published a letter signed by approximately 300 leaders in tech and the rest of the business community — including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson — calling on Trump to continue the program to protect undocumented immigrants.