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Execs from Amazon, Microsoft and other tech giants urge Congress to protect Dreamers

13 Feb

Some of the biggest names in tech sent a letter Monday asking Congressional leaders to come up with a legislative solution for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Microsoft President Brad Smith; Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos; Apple CEO Tim Cook; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg; and other industry leaders signed the letter, which was organized by the Coalition for the American Dream. The letter ran as a full-page ad in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

There are about 700,000 immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children and gained authorization to stay and work in the country through President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. In 2017, President Donald Trump announced plans to rescind the program but so far that effort is jammed up in courts.

“Studies by economists across the ideological spectrum have determined that if Congress fails to act, our economy could lose $350 billion in GDP, and the federal government could lose $90 billion in tax revenue,” the letter says. “Thus, continued delay or inaction will cause significant negative economic and social impact to businesses and hundreds of thousands of deserving young people across the country.”

This isn’t the first time the tech industry has rallied behind DACA recipients a.k.a. “Dreamers”. Microsoft and Princeton University sued the federal government in 2017 over its efforts to rescind DACA. Last year, Bezos donated $33 million to fund scholarships for Dreamers.

Last month, Trump ended a 35-day partial government shutdown without funding for the border wall he sought. Another shutdown looms if Congress and the president can’t reach an agreement that hinges on immigration and border security issues.

“With the re-opening of the federal government and the presumptive restart of immigration and border security negotiations, now is the time for Congress to pass a law to provide Dreamers the certainty they need,” the letter says. “These are our friends, neighbors, and coworkers, and they should not have to wait for court cases to be decided to determine their fate when Congress can act now.”