Apple Inc. executives Tim Cook and Deirdre O’Brien waded into the battle over Dreamers, filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
In its brief, Apple profiled five DACA recipients, known as Dreamers, and said it employs 443 of these people from more than 25 countries. “We are distressed at the prospect of ripping our DACA colleagues from the fabric of our company,” the executives wrote. “This issue is a moral one: Our country made a deal with a highly vulnerable population interested in a bright future, and we should keep that deal.”
Cook, Apple’s chief executive officer, has previously called DACA “the biggest issue of our time,” and the company has filed Supreme Court briefs in support of the program. But this is the first time Cook and O’Brien, the head of retail and human resources, have filed their own brief about it.
U.S. technology companies compete fiercely for engineers and other talented workers, and immigrants have been a valuable source of recruits for years. However, President Donald Trump’s crackdown on immigration has complicated this hiring effort and increased tension between the White House and the industry.
DACA protects young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Applicants are shielded from deportation and allowed to apply for work permits. Hundreds of thousands of people have these protections, but the Trump Administration is trying to end the program. Courts have blocked the efforts and the White House has challenged those rulings.
In June, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Trump’s bid to end DACA, taking up a politically explosive issue that is likely to be resolved in the heat of next year’s election campaign.