Tech leaders respond as the Trump administration announces plans to end DACA


Tech leaders respond as the Trump administration announces plans to end DACA

The tech community hasn’t minced words since the president announced that he was strongly considering ending the Obama era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy last week. Several of technology’s most high-profile executives added their name to a letter calling on Trump “to preserve the DACA program,” and asking Congress “to pass the bipartisan DREAM Act or legislation that provides these young people raised in our country the permanent solution they deserve.”

In spite of pushback from prominent business people, Attorney General Jeff Sessions took to a podium at the Department of Justice today, confirming its plans to end the policy. “To have a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest,” he told the press, “we cannot admit everyone who would like to come here. It’s just that simple.” Sessions did not take any followup questions.

But while Sessions apparently isn’t seeking feedback, tech’s top names are continuing to speak out. It’s just the latest in a number of rifts that have isolated the community from Trump, mere months after the parties sat down ahead of his inauguration in an attempt to find some common ground on policy. We’ve reached out to a number of top players to see where they fall on today’s decision. We’ll continue to update as more come in.

Airbnb: The rental company’s cofounders offered the following statement to TechCrunch. “We founded Airbnb based on the idea that our lives and our world are better when we accept each other. Those aren’t just economic or business values. Those are the values America has been and should be all about.”

Apple: After adding his name to the letter last week, Tim Cook defended Apple’s 250 Dreamer employees in a tweet over the weekend. Today, in a letter sent to Apple staff, Cook added, “we issue an urgent plea for our leaders in Washington to protect the Dreamers so their futures can never be put at risk in this way again.”

Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg called the decision “cruel” and “a sad day for our country” in a Facebook post earlier today. The status update goes on to call on Congress “to pass the bipartisan Dream Act or another legislative solution that gives Dreamers a pathway to citizenship. For years, leaders from both parties have been talking about protecting Dreamers.”

Google: CEO Sundar Pichai was on the ball earlier this morning, after lending his name to the letter, he sent out a tweet, calling Dreamers “our neighbors, our friends and our co-workers.” Google spokesperson Riva Sciuto also offered TechCrunch a comment about the decision, stating,

“The DACA program has provided critical protections to hundreds of thousands of individuals, including Google employees and their families, allowing them to continue to make important contributions to our country, society, and economy. We are disappointed in today’s decision to end the program and urge Congress to take quick action to enact a permanent legislative solution.”

Lyft: The ride sharing service’s cofounders  John Zimmer and Logan Green issued tweets supporting Dreamers.

Microsoft: Along with signing last week’s letter, CEO Satya Nadella also penned a heartfelt and personal reaction to the expected news, noting that he had expressed his thoughts on the matter at the White House. “ I am a product of two uniquely American attributes,” Nadella wrote, “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.”

Today, the company’s President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith called for an urgent legislative response to the news. Smith explained that Microsoft is “deeply disappointed” in what it believes to be “a big step back for our entire country. Nadella has since issued a followup tweet, noting that the company “stand[s] for diversity and economic opportunity for everyone.”

Featured Image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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