Microsoft has once again found itself at odds with the US administration, and in a blog post, Microsoft’s chief counsel Brad Smith made clear the company’s position on DREAMers – those who entered the USA illegally while still minors.
Under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era rule which has to be renewed every 2 years, these children were allowed to study and even work in the USA, and were not under the threat of deportation.
President Donald Trump is currently believed to be poised to do away with this program, which could see up to 800,000 people deported.
Brad Smith has made Microsoft’s opposition to such a plan clear, saying:
We are deeply concerned by news reports about changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that are under consideration. These changes would not only negatively impact thousands of hardworking people across the United States, but will be a step backwards for our entire nation.
Smith noted that removing DREAMers from the economy could cost the American economy $460.3 billion in GDP (gross domestic product) and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions over the course of a decade. More directly he noted that 27 Microsoft employees were DREAMers, and deporting these employees would be rob Microsoft and their customers of their meaningful contribution.
Weighing in on LinkedIn Satya Nadella noted:
As a CEO, I see each day the direct contributions that talented employees from around the world bring to our company, our customers and to the broader economy. We care deeply about the DREAMers who work at Microsoft and fully support them. We will always stand for diversity and economic opportunity for everyone. It is core to who we are at Microsoft and I believe it is core to what America is.
Smith advocated for the DREAM Act instead, which would provide a pathway towards permanent residence for DREAMers instead.
With abolishing DACA being one of Donald Trump’s campaign promises it seems Microsoft’s stand will likely be a futile one, but one which the majority of their progressive customers will find significant.