Zuckerberg's Facebook post pressures Congress to save DACA

Facebook's CEO posts a call to action: "This is a basic question of whether our government works."

Andrew Gebhart Former senior producer
2 min read

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is using his vast reach to try to help DACA recipients.  

James Martin/CNET

After joining 100 tech CEOs earlier this month in calling for a DACA extension, Mark Zuckerberg took to Facebook on Wednesday to keep the pressure on Congress. 

The CEO of the social media giant posted on his timeline, urging people to call their congressional representatives and to learn more about the issue.

DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It's a program started by then-President Barack Obama in 2012, allowing applicants who illegally immigrated to the US as children to continue to work or study legally without fear of deportation. In September, President Donald Trump decided to kill the program as part of his crackdown on immigration. However, Congress has the option of passing legislation to save the program.

Back in September, Trump's decision meant that DACA permits were no longer available to new applicants. People already enrolled in the program can stay and work in the US until their two-year permits expire. If their permits expire on or before March 5, 2018, they could reapply for another two-year permit before Oct. 5. For those whose DACA permits expire after March 5, they will be out of luck unless Congress acts before then. 

Members of Congress have been trying to create bipartisan legislation but have so far failed.

Tech leaders have taken up the defense of DACA recipients, also known as "dreamers," and argued in an open letter that DACA's demise could spark a "crisis for workforces across the country."

Wednesday's post from Zuckerberg, who has more than 101 million followers, urges Americans to take immediate action to convince Congress to act. Within two hours, his post had more than 39,000 reactions.

"Dreamers are members of our communities, and there are 800,000 living in fear with no ability to plan for the future," he said. "Teachers with DACA don't know if they'll be allowed to teach in a few months -- but somehow we expect them to take care of our children. First responders with DACA don't know if they'll get to stay here -- yet they worked around the clock to save lives after the hurricanes in Texas and Florida."