If any of the 39 Microsoft employees who are recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) face legal challenges when the program ends, the tech company will defend them in court, President and CLO Brad Smith wrote in a blog post Tuesday.
He called the administration’s decision to end DACA, which protects undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors from deportation, is “a big step back for our entire country.”
When Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the decision to end the program in six months on Tuesday, he passed the buck to Congress to come up with a plan before the program ends.
Smith urged Congress to make passing legislation to protect DACA recipients its top priority this fall.
“We say this even though Microsoft, like many other companies, cares greatly about modernizing the tax system and making it fairer and more competitive,” he said. “But we need to put the humanitarian needs of these 800,000 people on the legislative calendar before a tax bill. … In short, urgent DACA legislation is both an economic imperative and a humanitarian necessity.”
He called DACA recipients young people who are “part of our nation’s fabric” and said “they belong here.” He said Microsoft will work with other companies and the business community as a whole to “vigorously defend the legal rights” of all recipients.
“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,” he said.
If those Microsoft employees are deported, Smith said the company will back them up.
“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,” he said.