On Wednesday, Apple filed a friend of the court brief with the Supreme Court in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, ahead of a Nov. 12 hearing on whether DACA will be terminated.
The policy was created in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama. It gives temporary protection from deportation to immigrants living illegally in the US who were brought to the states as children. It also gives them a permit to work in the US. In 2017, President Donald Trump ordered an end to the policy. As of June 2019, there were an estimated 660,880 active DACA recipients, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Though Apple has filed numerous briefs as a company, this is the first time CEO Tim Cook and Senior Vice President of Retail and People Deirdre O'Brien have signed their names to a brief, an Apple spokesperson said.
Apple currently employs 443 "Dreamers" from more than 25 countries, an increase from 250 "Dreamers" in 2017. These employees include hardware development engineers, software engineers and technicians, and support and operations specialists.
The brief includes profiles of five Apple employees who are "Dreamers," highlighting the work and contributions they've made to the company and the US.
"We can say from experience that DACA promotes innovation -- for us at Apple and for companies all across the United States," the brief says. "Apple and companies like it would be weaker and less competitive without these extraordinary individuals in our workforce. They have earned the right to continue to contribute to our company and to our society."
Cook has long been vocal in his support for DACA. In 2017, he made public statements expressing his dismay at the Trump administration's actions, and he signed a letter to Trump and congressional leaders along with Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Google's Sundar Pichai and more than 300 others expressing support for the policy.
In February, Cook joined more than 100 business leaders including Bezos, Pichai, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter's Jack Dorsey in signing a letter asking Congress to find a legislative solution to protect immigrants covered by DACA.
"We did not hire [immigrants covered by DACA] out of kindness or charity. We did it because Dreamers embody Apple's innovation strategy," the brief says. "They come from diverse backgrounds and display a wide range of skills and experiences that equip them to tackle problems from different perspectives. Because they thrived in the face of adversity, they often exhibit extraordinary levels of grit and drive."
Originally published Oct. 2, 1:00 p.m. PT
Correction, 3:03 p.m. PT: Fixes spelling of Deirdre O'Brien's given name.