Back in September, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke out against the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Alongside legal officer Brad Smith, the company said it would protect the legal rights of so-called DREAMers immigrants.
DACA is an Obama-era program that the Trump Presidency has repealed. DREAMers are immigrants who entered the United States illegally as a minor. Under the new administration, these now-adult people will now have to leave once their current work permit had ended (up to a maximum of two years).
Microsoft promised it would legally back DREAMers and the first evidence of that has happened. The company has partnered with Princeton University to defend one of its students. Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez is a Dreamer has filed a legal motion in a federal court in Washington D.C.
She alleges the termination of DACA was a violation of the Constitution and federal law. The filing contests that ending DACA harms students and “the employers and educational institutions that rely on and benefit from their contributions.”
In the motion, Sanchez argues Princeton will lose “critical members of its community” if DACA is shuttered.
DACA students at Princeton “are among the most accomplished and respected students studying at the University” — they “study in a diverse array of fields, serve as mentors and peer advisors, class representatives in student government, and as community organizers and campus leaders,” and “have earned numerous academic honors, awards, and fellowships.”
Microsoft says along with LinkedIn there are 45 DACA employees in its organization. The company points out it has invested in Dreamers by “recruiting, retaining and developing” employees “who are Dreamers,” and it has “significant interests in retaining the Dreamers it employs, and in reaping the benefits of their talent over time. It has conducted its business operations on the understanding that these individuals would continue to be eligible to work at the company.”
“The 45 Dreamers employed by Microsoft today are making countless contributions in our company and community,” says Microsoft president Brad Smith. “They have grown up in the United States, attended our schools, paid taxes, bought houses and started families. They also completed the government’s rigorous DACA application process before they could obtain work authorization to join our company. It’s critical that we don’t lose their tremendous talents.”