Hours after taking his oath of office on Wednesday, President Joe Biden signed several executive orders overturning actions taken by the Trump administration regarding immigration, and tech is rallying behind the move.
Biden signed two executive orders Wednesday that extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for another four years and overturn the Trump administration’s travel bans on largely Muslim-majority countries. It’s just the start of the Biden administration’s immigration reform efforts. The administration also plans to drop a new bill that would provide 11 million undocumented immigrants with a pathway to citizenship and an eight-year waiting period before they can become permanent residents, according to Politico.
“We welcome President Biden’s commitment to pursuing comprehensive immigration reform that reflects the American values of justice, fairness and dignity. This effort will strengthen American communities and the pathways to opportunity this country has long fostered,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement Wednesday. “In the weeks and months to come, business leaders look forward to working with the Administration, as well as Democrats and Republicans in Congress, to achieve bipartisan, practical and comprehensive solutions to fix our broken immigration system, including a permanent solution for Dreamers that includes a path to citizenship.”
Google CEO Sundar Pichai also put out a statement in support of the Biden administration’s new immigration effort. “We applaud @POTUS‘s quick action on COVID relief, the Paris Climate Accord, and immigration reform. Google has supported action on these important issues & we look forward to working with the new administration to help the US recover from the pandemic + grow our economy,” Pichai said in a tweet.
“We are thankful that President Biden and Vice President Harris are following through on their commitment to send a bill to Congress to fix our broken immigration system,” FWD.us president Todd Schulte said in a statement Wednesday. “What needs to happen in short order is the House and Senate must move legislation that is signed into law.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg helped found FWD.us, an immigration advocacy organization, in 2013.
Twitter also put out a statement in support of the move. The “DACA Executive Order signed this evening delivers hope for #Dreamers. Diversity makes the US, our company, and our world better,” the company said in a tweet.
Last summer, former President Donald Trump issued a proclamation suspending a number of visa programs, including guest worker visas, like the H-1B. Tech companies commonly use these visas to recruit talented employees from overseas. After this proclamation was issued, tech companies, from Apple to Google, put out statements admonishing the Trump administration’s guest worker ban.
In the past, tech companies have argued that comprehensive immigration reform would benefit the US economy, largely focusing on how to improve visas for the high-skilled workers these companies employ.
TechNet, a technology trade group, signed onto a National Immigration Forum letter to Congress Wednesday encouraging members to quickly approve the Biden administration’s immigration plans. Dozens of TechNet’s members also signed onto the letter, including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.
“We can create a modern, humane, and effective immigration system that upholds the best of America’s promise: to be a nation where people can come from around the world to work, contribute, and build a better life for themselves, their families, and our society as a whole,” the TechNet letter said. “As we recover from COVID-19, the essential contributions of immigrants here today, and those to come tomorrow, will be critical to the health and well-being of American workers and their families.”