President Donald Trump is expected to scrap the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program next week, and tech leaders are doing all they can to remind the president how important immigrants are to the United States. That even means making like your friend from high school and engaging in heated, political Facebook arguments.
Hundreds of Silicon Valley execs, including leaders from Amazon, Google, Lyft, Twitter, and Snap, came together with the immigration reform group FWD.us to publish an open letter to Trump in support of the program this week.
DACA protects eligible undocumented immigrant youths who came into the country before they turned 16. It gives two-year renewable stays to Dreamers who have attended school or joined the military and haven’t committed serious crimes.
Mark Zuckerberg wrote a powerful post on Thursday in favor of the legislation, opening with “I stand with the Dreamers.” The Facebook CEO says young immigrants represent the future of America and its economy. He implored Trump to keep DACA in place.
“We need a government that protects Dreamers,” Zuck wrote. “Today I join business leaders across the country in calling on our President to keep the DACA program in place and protect Dreamers from fear of deportation. We’re also calling on Congress to finally pass the Dream Act or another permanent, legislative solution that Dreamers deserve.”
He went a step further, responding to skeptics of the program. In one comment, Zuck explains that undocumented immigrants haven’t worked to become citizens because there is no way to do so. The Dream Act, a legislative proposal from 2001 that would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented youths, has been reintroduced several times but never passed.
Zuckerberg was blunt about what immigration reform he’d like to see, replying to one comment with, “It’s time to pass the Dream Act.”
He also didn’t back down to heated statements. One user wrote, “People who jump over fences and enter this country illegal are not DREAMers they are criminals and should be deported!” Zuck quickly replied, “It’s tough to jump over a fence when you’re 1 or 2 years old. Many of these young folks didn’t even make the decision to come here themselves.”
You can read all of Zuck’s replies on immigration policy on his Facebook page.
Zuck is one of many CEOs to publicly post their support of DACA and the Dream Act. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shared a personal post on LinkedIn.
“As I shared at the White House in June, I am a product of two uniquely American attributes: the ingenuity of American technology reaching me where I was growing up, fueling my dreams, and the enlightened immigration policy that allowed me to pursue my dreams,” Nadella wrote.
Uber, which just hired Iranian-born Dara Khosrowshashi, also released a statement:
“DREAMers grew up here, live here, and are contributing to our communities and our economy. Their contributions make America more competitive and they deserve the opportunity to work, study, and pursue the American dream.”
Other leaders, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Amazon head Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet, and around 350 others, signed the FWD.us letter. You can read the full note here.