Microsoft has strongly condemned President Donald Trump's reported decision to ax an Obama era program that shields from deportation immigrants brought illegally to the US when they were kids.
Trump is expected to announce as early as Friday that he will end the so-called Dreamers program, Fox News reported Thursday. "Dreamers" currently in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are expected to be allowed to stay in the US until their permits expire, Fox reported.
"These changes would not only negatively impact thousands of hardworking people across the United States, but will be a step backwards for our entire nation," Microsoft's chief counsel, Brad Smith, said in a statement.
In addition to disrupting the lives of people who voluntarily registered with the federal government and now face possible deportation, Smith said repealing the program could have significant economic consequences for the US. Ending DACA would cut $460.3 billion from the nation's GDP over the next decade, according to one study.
There are currently about 800,000 immigrants registered with the federal government under the program. A group of conservative attorneys general have threatened to sue the Trump administration unless he begins to dismantle the program by Sept. 5.
Smith went on to note that 27 Microsoft employees have benefited from DACA.
"They are software engineers with top technical skills; finance professionals driving our business ambitions forward; and retail and sales associates connecting customers to our technologies," Smith wrote. "Each of them is actively participating in our collective mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more."
In another statement, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shared a personal story about the value he sees in the program.
"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, adding that "smart immigration can help our economic growth and global competitiveness."
The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
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