Some of the world’s most prominent technology executives are officially protesting the president’s decision to stop child migrants from staying in the US
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It’s increasingly becoming clear that the American tech community isn’t seeing eye to eye with the country’s commander-in-chief. When Donald J. Trump didn’t immediately condemn the neo-Nazi protestors marching in Charlottesville last month, business leaders responded by leaving his advisory councils. Now some of the leading tech executives in the US have openly opposed the president’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.
Created by Barack Obama in 2012, the programme allows undocumented migrants who entered the US as minors the temporary right to live, study and work there and, since its implementation, it has protected over 800,000 young people from deportation. The plans to end the policy by March 2018 were announced last week, with the president officially rescinding it on Tuesday this week. Congress now has six months to start phasing out DACA and house speaker Paul Ryan has expressed hopes that it can create permanent legislation to ensure that “those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country”.
The move to end DACA has been met with protests from not only members of both political parties but also from the head honchos of the country’s technological powerhouses. Almost 600 executives across the nation – including Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, and Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb – have signed an open letter urging the government to preserve DACA. Furthermore, the letter called on congress to pass the bipartisan Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, which would provide a road for minors to gain permanent resident status,or similar legislation and provide young people a permanent way to stay and work in the country.
Commenting on the news that Trump had rescinded DACA, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who also signed the open letter, said: “This is a sad day for our country. The decision to end DACA is not just wrong. It is particularly cruel to offer young people the American dream, encourage them to come out of the shadows and trust our government and then punish them for it.”
Given that the opposition facing the end of DACA, it’s safe to say that the debate surrounding undocumented children’s right to remain in the US is only just beginning.