President Donald Trump’s decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is nearing a critical crossroads, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants his stance — along with most of Silicon Valley’s — on the Obama administration policy to be clear.
In a Facebook post published Thursday night, Zuckerberg pledged his support of DACA, called “Dreamers” the future of the country, and urged other business leaders to join in signing an open letter addressed to Trump. The letter has already been signed by fellow tech giants Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Apple CEO Tim Cook, along with numerous others.
The note comes as numerous reports have claimed that Trump is expected to announce the end of DACA, which protects children who were brought into the U.S. illegally by allowing them to work and attend school. According to CNN, it’s benefited nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants, often referred to as “Dreamers,” many of whom have known nothing else than a life in the states.
“I stand with the Dreamers,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Many have lived here as long as they can remember. Dreamers have a special love for this country because they can’t take living here for granted. They understand all the opportunities they have and want nothing more than the chance to serve their country and their community. And Dreamers deserve that chance.”
DACA has long been an embattled topic for the Trump administration, but not one for Silicon Valley. Along with Zuckerberg’s note, Microsoft and its CEO issued two different statements in support of the program on Thursday, with president and chief legal officer Brad Smith saying in a blog post, “Changes would not only negatively impact thousands of hardworking people across the United States, but will be a step backwards for our entire nation.”
In a separate statement, CEO Satya Nadella outlined how the program made the country and communities stronger, saying, “As I shared at the White House in June, I am a product of two uniquely American attributes: the ingenuity of American technology reaching me where I was growing up, fueling my dreams, and the enlightened immigration policy that allowed me to pursue my dreams.”
Trump and his administration have long been contemplating a decision — despite lauding hateful rhetoric toward immigrants throughout his campaign — but one could come as soon as Friday, according to reports, as an ultimatum after Labor Day could force Trump’s hand. Ten state attorney generals that oppose the policy set a Sept. 5 deadline for the president to act, and if he doesn’t take action, they will likely pursue legal action.