The Trump administration announced on Tuesday that it planned to end a program known as DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
It’s a program that shields young immigrants who came to the US as minors from being deported as adults. It will be phased out over six months, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Tuesday.
DACA covers nearly 800,000 young immigrants, including 250 employees that work at Apple, the most valuable public American company, according to an email from CEO Tim Cook obtained by Business Insider. Young immigrants covered under DACA are often called “Dreamers.”
Cook addressed DACA to Apple employees worldwide in an email sent on Tuesday. “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 protections for all the Dreamers in our country,” Cook wrote.
“On behalf of the hundreds of employees at Apple whose futures are at stake; on behalf of their colleagues and on behalf of the millions more across America who believe, as we do, in the power of dreams, we issue an urgent plea for our leaders in Washington to protect the Dreamers so their futures can never be put at risk in this way again,” it continues.
Several technology industry leaders have pushed back against the administration’s plan to curtail DACA with public statements, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who called the planned move “cruel” and a “sad day for our country.”
Cook’s note follows a tweet on the subject sent on Sunday that was retweeted over 53,000 times. “250 of my Apple coworkers are #Dreamers. I stand with them. They deserve our respect as equals and a solution rooted in American values,” he wrote.
Read the entire note below:
Subject: Defending the American Dream
America promises all its people the opportunity to achieve their dreams through hard work and perseverance. At Apple, we’ve dedicated ourselves to creating products that empower those dreams. And at our best, we aspire to be part of the promise that defines America.
Earlier today, the Justice Department announced that President Trump will cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months if Congress does not act to make the program permanent.
I am deeply dismayed that 800,000 Americans – including more than 250 of our Apple coworkers – may soon find themselves cast out of the only country they’ve ever called home.
DACA recognizes that people who arrived in the United States as children should not be punished for being here illegally. It lets these Americans, who have successfully completed rigorous background investigations, go to school, earn a living, support their families, pay taxes and work toward achieving their dreams like the rest of us. They are called Dreamers, and regardless of where they were born, they deserve our respect as equals.
I’ve received several notes over the weekend from Dreamers within Apple. Some told me they came to the U.S. as young as two years old, while others recounted they don’t even remember a time they were not in this country.
Dreamers who work at Apple may have been born in Canada or Mexico, Kenya or Mongolia, but America is the only home they’ve ever known. They grew up in our cities and towns, and hold degrees from colleges across the country. They now work for Apple in 28 states.
They help customers in our retail stores. They engineer the products people love and they’re building Apple’s future as part of our R&D teams. They contribute to our company, our economy and our communities just as much as you and I do. Their 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 protections for all the Dreamers in our country.
We are also working closely with each of our co-workers to provide them and their families the support they need, including the advice of immigration experts.
On behalf of the hundreds of employees at Apple whose futures are at stake; on behalf of their colleagues and on behalf of the millions more across America who believe, as we do, in the power of dreams, we issue an urgent plea for our leaders in Washington to protect the Dreamers so their futures can never be put at risk in this way again.
Despite this setback for our nation, I’m confident that American values will prevail and we will continue our tradition of welcoming immigrants from all nations. I’ll do whatever I can to assure this outcome.