Following reports that the Trump administration may soon end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said in a blog post that “changes would not only negatively impact thousands of hardworking people across the United States, but will be a step backwards for our entire nation.”
The statement was one of two quickly issued by the company after Fox News reported that Trump may roll back the Obama-era program, which allows immigrants who came to the United States as children to stay if they meet certain requirements. After suggesting at various points that he would end the program, Trump, more recently, seemed to back away from the suggestion. If reports are accurate, he could now be moving ahead with changes.
Smith notes in his statement that 27 of Microsoft’s employees are DACA beneficiaries. “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,” Smith writes. “Each of them is actively participating in our collective mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella issued the second statement from the company, which took a more a personal tone. “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,” Nadella writes. He adds that “smart immigration can help our economic growth and global competitiveness.”
As the public waits for an announcement, the early statements could already portend a new wave of criticism from Silicon Valley. After Trump’s proposed travel ban, major tech companies almost uniformly spoke out, and later filed a legal brief opposing the president’s executive order.