It has been a mere four days since we talked about the reactions of the big Apple technology companies included, obviously to the Donald Trump government prospectus canceling the program DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or Ao Deferred for Arrival of Children), which protects young immigrants from the threat of deportation. At that time, however, the final decision of the president and his cabinet was still a mystery; now, no more: today in the morning, the attorney general of the United States announced that the program is effectively ending.
Now, before we get into the main reason for this text, let’s make it very clear what is happening in the USA: the DACA (or was) a program created by former President Barack Obama, in an emergency nature after Congress’ refusal to pass a law broader migratory reform, which consists of granting study or work visas (valid for two years and renewable) to immigrants who arrived in the country illegally under the age of 16, called, by the program, «Dreamers» («Dreamers»).
Some prerequisites for applying to the program include being between 15 and 31 years old (completed by 2012), living in the USA since 2007 or having served in the country’s armed forces and having no criminal record. Since 2012, the program has targeted more than 800,000 young immigrants, especially in California where Apple is headquartered and Silicon Valley and Texas. it is worth noting that DACA does not grant citizenship to beneficiaries; visas can be renewed indefinitely, but young people must submit to a large number of conditions and constantly inform all their personal data to the government.
The decision announced today by the Trump administration essentially puts the future of the program in the hands of Congress: if parliamentarians do not approve a bill that guarantees the continuation of the DACA, either permanently or temporarily, by March 5, 2018, the 800,000 contemplated immigrants will lose all their benefits they will no longer be able to renew their visas, and new immigrants will not be able to apply for the program. Considering that the current US Congress is one of the most conservative in the last few decades even more than the one that did not pass Obama’s migratory reform law, it can effectively be said that the program is in the process of ending.
Unless, of course, there is a very strong mobilization on the streets and among strong sectors of society. This is where we get into the main subject of the text: Tim Cook, which had already signed an open letter from the big companies in Vale supporting the program’s permanence, has now distributed another letter this time, written and signed exclusively by itself to Apple employees. Below, we translate it in full:
The United States promises everyone who lives here the opportunity to achieve their dreams through hard work and perseverance. At Apple, we are dedicated to creating products that empower these dreams. Essentially, we aspire to be part of the promise that defines this country.
Earlier today, the Department of Justice announced that President Trump will cancel the program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in six months if Congress does not act to make it permanent.
I am deeply dismayed that 800,000 Americans, including more than 250 of our colleagues at Apple, may soon be expelled from the only country they once called «home».
DACA recognizes that people who arrived in the United States as children should not be punished for being here illegally. It allows these Americans who have successfully completed a series of background investigations to go to school, earn a living, support their families, pay taxes and work to achieve their dreams, like all of us. They are called Dreamers and, regardless of where they were born, they deserve our respect as equals.
Over the weekend, I received several messages from Dreamers here from Apple. Some told me that they arrived in the USA when they were two years old, while others told me that they don’t even remember being anywhere else than in this country.
Dreamers Apple employees may have been born in Canada or Mexico, Kenya or Mongolia, but the United States is the only country they have ever known. They grew up in our cities and municipalities, and have degrees from universities all over the country. They work at Apple in 28 states.
They help our customers in our stores. They engineer the products that people love and are helping to build Apple’s future as part of our R&D (research and development) teams. They contribute to our company, our economy and our communities as much as you or me. Your 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 protection for all Dreamers in our country.
We are also working closely with each of our colleagues to provide them and their families with the support they need, including advice from immigration experts.
On behalf of each of the hundreds of Apple employees whose future is at stake; on behalf of your colleagues and on behalf of the millions around the United States who believe, like us, in the power of dreams, we have issued this urgent request for our leaders in Washington to protect Dreamers so your futures are never put at risk this way again.
Despite these setbacks for our nation, I am confident that American values ??will prevail and we will continue our tradition of receiving immigrants from all nations. I will do everything I can to guarantee this horizon.
Cook too tweeted on the subject with a short excerpt from the letter:
#Dreamers contribute to our companies and our communities just as much as you and I. Apple will fight for them to be treated as equals.
– Tim Cook (@tim_cook) September 5, 2017
#Dreamers contribute to our companies and our communities as much as you or me. Apple will fight for them to be treated as equals.
Cook’s words, of course, are reflected in other large companies in Silicon Valley, some of them even more energetic. THE Microsoft, for example, announced that it would bear all the legal costs of its employees who need to go to justice if their DACA visas expire (although, good to note, Microsoft has only 39 Dreamers in its staff, while Apple has more than 250). Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and all other old acquaintances have also spoken out against Trump’s decision and calling for an action by Congress.
How well Vox, the end of the DACA represents, in effect, the greatest ?illegalization? of immigrants ever carried out in the history of the USA; It is an unprecedented case that finds opposition even among Republican Party members and Trump supporters in June, when the president contradictorily announced that he would not touch the program, public opinion was (almost) all on his side. Therefore, it is not as if Apple, Microsoft, Google and the limited company were representing the only dissenting voice in a sea of ??government decision approval.
As I always like to remember, at the end of the day, the main motivation of technology companies, always, the profit if they position themselves so strongly against a subject, you can be sure that, in some way, because the your coffers (or the prospect of fattening them further) will be affected. This does not diminish, however, the importance of the support of the technology giants in this crucial issue and I personally believe in the genuineness and good intentions of Cook’s words. What some (I included) might simply consider a good heart, however, others already consider the first indications of a breeding ground for a possible presidential candidacy in 2020.
One thing, personally, I’m sure: Cook would be a much better president of the United States than the current figure in the White House. In fact, he may be a better president for the United States than he is for Apple.