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Friday
Sep012017

Facebook, Google execs among business leaders asking Trump to preserve DACA

Adam Berry/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  Hundreds of major business leaders signed an open letter Thursday night encouraging President Trump to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), and asking Congress to pass the bipartisan DREAM Act.

DACA is an Obama-era immigration policy that allows undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children deferred action from deportation and a two-year eligibility for work permits.

The Silicon Valley leaders who signed the letter, addressed to Trump, argue that the so-called Dreamers, or beneficiaries of DACA status, are vital to the economy and contribute to America's "global competitive advantage."

Signatories of the letter, released by FWD.us, include Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, Apple's Tim Cook, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Google's Sundar Pichai, and HP's Meg Whitman. A full list of signatories is here.

"As entrepreneurs and business leaders, we are concerned about new developments in immigration policy that threaten the future of young undocumented immigrants brought to America as children," reads the letter.

There are almost 800,000 young people with DACA status in the U.S. who are at risk for deportation if the Trump administration decides to repeal Obama's executive order.

Zuckerberg, a founder of FWD.us, an initiative aimed at immigration reform, added in his own post on Facebook, "I stand with the Dreamers -- the young people brought to our country by their parents. Many have lived here as long as they can remember."

"We need a government that protects Dreamers," wrote Zuckerberg. "These young people represent the future of our country and our economy. They are our friends and family, students and young leaders in our communities."

The letter was spurred by reports from news outlets, including ABC News, that the Trump administration is considering repealing DACA as early as Friday.

Leaders in the tech industry have been outspoken proponents of immigration reform, particularly visas that allows for their companies to recruit high skilled workers from overseas. According to the letter, "at least 72 percent of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies count DACA recipients among their employees."

During the "Powerhouse Politics" podcast Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl that the president is still making up his mind about DACA.

"President Trump has said all along that he's giving very careful consideration to that issue and when he makes that decision he'll make it with what he likes to say, 'big heart,'" Pence said.

Earlier Thursday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took a strong stand against changes that could impact people currently enrolled in the Obama-era program and made a personal plea in a blog post.

"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," he wrote. "This is the America that I know and of which I am a proud citizen. This is the America that I love and that my family and I call home. And this is the America that I will always advocate for."

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