Apple chief executive Tim Cook tweeted Sunday morning that he stands by the 250 Apple employees who have DACA status.
250 of my Apple coworkers are #Dreamers. I stand with them. They deserve our respect as equals and a solution rooted in American values.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) September 3, 2017
This is the first time that Apple has publicly disclosed how many employees with DACA status work at the technology behemoth.
Cook's remarks come as he and hundreds of business executives from Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and many other technology companies are calling upon President Trump to preserve an Obama-era program that allows immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children to live and work without punishment.
The national coalition on Thursday petitioned Trump in an open letter to rethink his plans to scrap the five-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The White House said Trump will announce his decision Tuesday on whether to terminate the program.
For Cook and the other business leaders, ending the DACA protections would imperil the economy and jeopardize the futures of nearly 800,000 young people, known as “dreamers” — 97 percent of whom are in school or in the workforce, they wrote. At least 72 percent of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies count DACA recipients among their employees, the letter said.
“Dreamers are vital to the future of our companies and our economy,” the executives wrote. “With them, we grow and create jobs. They are part of why we will continue to have a global competitive advantage.”
But on Sunday morning Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin brushed off concerns that ending DACA would hurt the economy."I'm less concerned about the economic impact," he said on Fox News Sunday. "We'll make sure that we have plenty of workers in this economy. We want to put more people back to work."
The letter, organized by Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us and signed by leaders of nearly 400 other companies, also urged Congress to pass legislation that would provide a permanent fix for the young undocumented immigrants.
Among the signatories: business magnate Warren Buffett, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, Cook, Jeffrey P. Bezos of Amazon (who also owns The Washington Post), Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, and Meg Whitman of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.