Microsoft, Facebook Gear Up for New Battle on DACA Program – Bloomberg

Technology companies’ vociferous support for the children of undocumented immigrants could set the industry up for its biggest showdown yet with President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress.

Executives from Microsoft Corp., Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc. were among the strongest in condemning Trump’s decision on Tuesday to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Known as DACA, it lets children brought to the U.S. as undocumented immigrants work, drive and enroll in college. The president gave Congress six months to pass laws to replace the program. If that doesn’t happen, it could open a new front in the intermittent flame war between the world’s most powerful tech companies and the U.S. government.

“We’re going to fight alongside you to help this get resolved. Not just for the folks that are on DACA but for all dreamers and undocumented folks,” Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said in a live-streamed conversation with three DACA grantees, known as dreamers. Microsoft Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith urged Congress to prioritize finding a replacement for DACA and later told NPR that the government would have to “go through us” if it tried to deport dreamers employed by the company.

“To know directly from the CEOs that they’re the ones saying they support it and why they feel it’s important, that’s never happened before — not to the extent that it’s happening now,” said Elizabeth Vilchis, a dreamer who works at Samsung Electronics Co.’s NEXT startup investment unit. Samsung declined to comment.

Six Months

Vilchis said she and other dreamers expect the most-powerful tech companies to follow their words with actions, such as suing the government or giving affected employees the option to keep their jobs but transfer to other countries. She’s doubtful six months is enough time for a meaningful replacement to be enacted by Congress and is preparing for the worst.

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