Tech giants vow to fight Trump’s move against child immigrants

07 Sep 2017


Tech giants Apple, Google and Microsoft have lined up against the Trump administration's scrapping of the amnesty granted to immigrants who arrived in the country as children, pledging to stand by their employees and provide them legal assistance (See: Tech giants vow to fight Trump's move against child immigrants). 

The earlier US administration under President Barack Obama had, in 2012, offered hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants right for permanent stay in the country in exchange of information on their home addresses, study and work and their date of entry in the United States.

But, on Tuesday, President Trump revoked the Obama-era programme known as Deferred Action for Children Arrival (DACA), a move likely to impact 800,000 undocumented workers, including more than 7,000 Indian-Americans.

The personal information provided by nearly 800,000 immigrants who arrived as children in the United States in a federal database can now be used by law enforcement officials to deport them.

The data base has all information on entries and exits from the country and visa expiry dates as was required in the DACA application, giving government officials what amount to signed, dated admissions about violations of federal immigration law.

These young ''dreamers'' arrived in the US as children and are registered with the federal government to get work permits, but remain undocumented in the migrant registry.  Microsoft and Apple are offering full defence of these young migrants most of whom are employed with technology firm.

Apple CEO Tim Cook condemned the Trump administration's decision and pledged in a note to employees to offer any employees affected by the change the "support they need, including the advice of immigration experts."

"You're going to have to go through us to deport Dreamers who work here," Microsoft said, adding it will stick by its employees affected by any change to DACA, even in court.

"If Congress fails to act, our company will exercise its legal rights properly to help protect our employees," Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith wrote in a blog post.

"If the government seeks to deport any one of them, we will provide and pay for their legal counsel," Smith wrote, of the 39 Dreamers who work at Microsoft. He said the company would also seek to intervene in those cases.

"Dreamers make our country & communities stronger. We stand for diversity and economic opportunity for everyone. Legislation to protect 800,000  #Dreamers is an economic & humanitarian imperative. Congress needs to act quickly," Nadella tweeted.

A legal battle could raise broader issues about how the federal government sometimes uses data collected for one purpose to pursue other purposes when priorities change.

It could also expose the large-scale abuse of privacy and personal data by the US administration in the name of national security and surveillance..

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