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Microsoft is continuing its battle with the United States government over the cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program formulated under the Obama presidency. Now, Microsoft and Princeton University have filed a case again the government to prevent the program being shuttered.

In 2017, President Trump revoked DACA and placed doubt on the country’s DREAMers. The term DREAMers refers to immigrants who entered the United States as illegals when they were minors. With DACA removed, now-adult illegals would have to leave the country when a current work permit ends (up to two years).

Microsoft collaborated with Princeton University and a student in a filing complaint in the federal courts. While the organizations won the case, the government appealed. Microsoft has said previously it will back DACA recipients in court.

In the trial over the future of DACA, the case will largely rest on whether its even possible for federal judged to review the governments decision to end the program. Microsoft argues the government has not offered “reasoned explanation” as to why it should be ended.

“This case, in short, is about accountability. Judge Bates made crystal clear that the government has the power to rescind DACA, but only if it takes responsibility for its actions, offers forthright justifications, and explains them in a reasoned fashion. Because the government failed to do so, the [lower court’s] decision should be affirmed,” the plaintiffs said in their court brief [PDF].


Meanwhile, the Trump administration said in a court document [PDF] the decision taken by the Department of Homeland Security “is a quintessential enforcement decision of the sort traditionally ‘committed to an agency’s absolute discretion'”. In other words, the courts should not have the ability to review the decision.

Microsoft President Brad Smith has previously spoken out about the closure of DACA. In a blog post last week, he said the removal of the program would hurt the economy.

“For us, this fight is not just about our employees. It’s also about the potential impact of DACA rescission on the hundreds of thousands of Dreamers. On businesses across the country, and on the innovation economy that is central to the nation’s prosperity. Roughly three-quarters of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies have confirmed that they employ Dreamers,” Smith added.