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Apple's Tim Cook vows to help Dreamers after DACA dies

Cook says he'll work with Congress to find a "legislative solution that provides permanent protections."

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Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed his company about DACA in an email on Tuesday. 

James Martin/CNET

Apple CEO Tim Cook isn't going to let DACA die without a fight. 

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, more commonly referred to as DACA, is a controversial Obama-era immigration program that helped undocumented immigrants who arrived to the US as children work and study without the fear of deportation. They're referred to as Dreamers. 

The program will end after a transition period over the next six months, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a press conference on Tuesday. The move by the Trump administration fulfills one of the campaign promises made by President Donald Trump

But Cook, in an email to employees obtained by CNET, vowed to work with members of Congress to "advocate for a legislative solution that provides permanent protections for all the Dreamers in our country."

Cook said Apple would provide support, including advice from immigration experts, to the Dreamers who work at Apple. 

The move comes despite pleas to preserve DACA from tech leaders at Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, which argue the program has helped many of their own employees and the overall economy. It's the latest move by the tech industry as it voices more opposition to some of the policies laid out by the Trump administration, including immigration, race relations and the environment. 

"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," Cook said in the email. 

Sessions said the DACA program represented an overextension of the president's executive power and said it was up to Congress to set up immigration policy. 

"As the Attorney General, it is my duty to ensure that the laws of the United States are enforced and that the Constitutional order is upheld," he said during a press conference. "Ending the previous Administration's disrespect for the legislative process is an important first step."

Cook said Dreamers work for Apple in 28 states, and that for many, the US is their home. 

"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."

Here's the full email:

Team,

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. 

Tim

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