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Apple's Tim Cook says DACA is about 'basic human dignity'

Apple's outspoken CEO, speaking at a conference in New York, says the debate over Dreamers is about morality, not politics.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been an increasingly vocal opponent of President Donald Trump.
James Martin/CNET

Tim Cook disagrees with President Donald Trump, and he's increasingly outspoken about it.

At first, he put out statements in response to Trump's executive order shortly after his inauguration, which temporarily restricted immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries. "Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do," Cook said in a letter to employees at the time.

Then, after Trump's revised immigration order, Cook gave a speech at the University of Glasgow, in which he expressed concern for Apple employees who were in the US under a work visa, but may have been traveling outside the country when Trump's order was implemented. "They couldn't get back in. That's a crisis. You can imagine the stress," he said

When Trump announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military, Cook fired back, "We are indebted to all who serve. Discrimination against anyone holds everyone back."

Now he's speaking out on DACA, a program from Barack Obama's administration that provided work and education visas to people brought into the country illegally as children.

"At Apple, we have many that came to the US when they were 2 years old," he said to the crowd in New York Wednesday. "They didn't exactly make a decision to come. They came here — they only know our country. This is their home. They love America deeply. When you talk to them, I wish everyone in America loved America this much."

Cook framed the debate not as one of politics, but of morality and "basic human dignity and respect." 

"This goes to the values of being American. This is: 'Are we human?' 'Are we acting in a track of morality?'" he said. "I am personally shocked that there's even a discussion of this."

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

So what would Cook do if he were in charge? Well, he'd be trying to "monopolize" the world's best who help created jobs and innovation. "I'd have a very aggressive plan — not just to let a few people in," he said. "I would be recruiting."

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