Over the weekend, Tim Cook reaffirmed his support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Obama era policy that allows some illegal immigrants to defer deportation. After Attorney General Jeff Sessions took to a podium at the Department of Justice earlier today to confirm the administration’s decision, Cook emailed Apple staff a long memo urging Congress to make the policy permanent.
The memo, which was obtained by TechCrunch this morning, notes Cook’s “deep dismay” at the planned end for a program that could impact the lives of 800,000 Americas. As the executive noted over the weekend, that list includes more than 250 Apple employees.
Cook relays the stories of some of the employees who contacted him following his tweet over the weekend and the release of a letter last week that he cosigned along with other top executives from companies like Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft.
“On behalf of the hundreds of employees at Apple whose futures are at stake,” Cook writes, “on behalf of their colleagues and on behalf of the millions more across America who believe, as we do, in the power of dreams, we issue an urgent plea for our leaders in Washington to protect the Dreamers so their futures can never be put at risk in this way again.”
The planned end of DACA is just the latest in a number of policy decisions that have drawn a wedge between Trump and the industry leaders who sat down with him at a tech summit just ahead of his inauguration. The full text of the letter can be read below.
America promises all its people the opportunity to achieve their dreams through hard work and perseverance. At Apple, we’ve dedicated ourselves to creating products that empower those dreams. And at our best, we aspire to be part of the promise that defines America.
Earlier today, the Justice Department announced that President Trump will cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months if Congress does not act to make the program permanent.
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.
DACA recognizes that people who arrived in the United States as children should not be punished for being here illegally. It lets these Americans, who have successfully completed rigorous background investigations, go to school, earn a living, support their families, pay taxes and work toward achieving their dreams like the rest of us. They are called Dreamers, and regardless of where they were born, they deserve our respect as equals.
I’ve received several notes over the weekend from Dreamers within Apple. Some told me they came to the U.S. as young as two years old, while others recounted they don’t even remember a time they were not in this country.
Dreamers who work at Apple may have been born in Canada or Mexico, Kenya or Mongolia, but America is the only home they’ve ever known. They grew up in our cities and towns, and hold degrees from colleges across the country. They now work for Apple in 28 states.
They help customers in our retail stores. They engineer the products people love and they’re building Apple’s future as part of our R&D teams. They contribute to our company, our economy and our communities just as much as you and I do. Their dreams are our dreams.
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.
We are also working closely with each of our co-workers to provide them and their families the support they need, including the advice of immigration experts.
On behalf of the hundreds of employees at Apple whose futures are at stake; on behalf of their colleagues and on behalf of the millions more across America who believe, as we do, in the power of dreams, we issue an urgent plea for our leaders in Washington to protect the Dreamers so their futures can never be put at risk in this way again.
Despite this setback for our nation, I’m confident that American values will prevail and we will continue our tradition of welcoming immigrants from all nations. I’ll do whatever I can to assure this outcome.