Microsoft speaks out against Trump administration's decision to rescind DACA

Echoing comments it made last week, Microsoft has come out strongly against the Trump administration's decision to end protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In a new statement, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith called the move, which would remove protections preventing deportation for immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as young children, a "big step back for our entire country."

Under the administration's current plan, Congress will have six months to implement DACA legislatively before protections end. In his statement, Smith urges Congress to make this a priority, taking precedence ahead of even tax reform. From Smith:

We say this even though Microsoft, like many other companies, cares greatly about modernizing the tax system and making it fairer and more competitive. But we need to put the humanitarian needs of these 800,000 people on the legislative calendar before a tax bill. As an employer, we appreciate that Dreamers add to the competitiveness and economic success of our company and the entire nation's business community. In short, urgent DACA legislation is both an economic imperative and a humanitarian necessity.As this debate moves forward, we need to remember that these 800,000 individuals came to our nation as children. They grew up in this country. They attended our local schools and count millions of American citizens as friends. They obey our laws, pay taxes here and have registered voluntarily with the federal government for DACA relief. They are loyal to this country and contribute their time and money to local churches, schools and community groups. The Dreamers are part of our nation's fabric. They belong here.

In the event that Congress fails to act, Smith says that Microsoft will commit to legally protecting the 39 Dreamers that it currently employs. Says Smith:

This is why we will work as needed with other companies and the broader business community to vigorously defend the legal rights of all Dreamers. For the 39 Dreamers that we know of who are our employees, our commitment is clear. If Congress fails to act, our company will exercise its legal rights properly to help protect our employees. If the government seeks to deport any one of them, we will provide and pay for their legal counsel. We will also file an amicus brief and explore whether we can directly intervene in any such case. In short, if Dreamers who are our employees are in court, we will be by their side.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl