Apple CEO Tim Cook pledged to continue supporting “Dreamers” in the wake of the White House and the U.S. Justice Department announcing a phase out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Cook sent a company-wide internal email out to Apple employees Tuesday expressing his disapproval for the move and promising to support immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. “I am deeply dismayed that 800,000 Americans — including more than 250 of our Apple coworkers — may soon find themselves cast out of the only country they’ve ever called home,” Cook wrote.
DACA is an Obama-era program, passed through executive order in 2012, that offered certain protections to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as minors. Specifically, “Dreamers” are protected from immediate deportation by way of a renewable, two-year period of deferred action and the eligibility to apply for work permits.
President Trump on Tuesday ordered an end to the program through a six-month phase out. He urged Congress to replace it with new, permanent legislation by the official March 5, 2018 ending date, the New York Times reported. Shortly after Trump issued a written statement on the matter, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the government would no longer be accepting new applications under the program.
In the majority of cases, Dreamers who were brought to the country as children have never left the U.S. And while the roughly 800,000 DACA enrollees aren’t expected to be immediately affected, many people who have grown up and lived in the U.S. essentially their entire lives could face deportation to countries that are entirely foreign to them. Current enrollees will still be able to renew their two-year permits until Oct. 5. Beyond that, the future looks murky.
Last week, Cook added his signature to an open letter signed by hundreds of high-profile individuals which urged several federal politicians — including the president himself — to preserve the DACA program, according to Recode. Similarly, on Sunday, the Apple CEO tweeted his personal support for DACA and Dreamers on Sunday, as Trump’s decision on the matter loomed.
In today’s email, Cook pledged to work with legislators to come up with a permanent solution. “I want to assure you that Apple will work with members of Congress from both parties to advocate for a legislative solution that provides permanent protections for all the Dreamers in our country,” Cook wrote. Additionally, he added that Apple would continue to support the 250 Dreamers within its own ranks. “We are also closely working with each of our co-workers to provide them and their families the support they need, including the advice of immigrant experts.”
Cook has come out in opposition to the Trump administration on a variety of issues in recent years, including transgender rights, climate change, and Trump’s first immigration ban. Apple also frequently pledges its support to other political causes, including digital privacy rights.