June 18, 2020

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Microsoft, business groups applaud Supreme Court decision to protect DACA program

By
Alex Gangitano
The Hill

Major players across industries are celebrating the Supreme Court ruling on Thursday to block the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Microsoft has been a leading voice in urging Congress to provide protections for recipients of DACA and was a plaintiff before the Supreme Court to defend the program.

“Today’s #SCOTUS decision is a victory for the country. Nearly 700,000 law-abiding DACA registrants are helping restart the economy & fight COVID-19 – including 30,000+ in healthcare. This decision creates an opportunity for the WH & Congress to find a lasting bipartisan approach,” Microsoft President Brad Smith tweeted Thursday.

The Obama-era program shields nearly 700,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation and the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the Trump administration failed to give an adequate justification for terminating it.

The Association of American Universities, which supported the arguments in defense of DACA and filed an amicus brief in the case, pushed for Congress to pass legislation to further protect DACA recipients Thursday.

“The DACA program was never meant to be permanent, and DACA students at our universities – who are American in every way – deserve a solution that takes their fate out of the hands of shifting Executive Branch priorities and gives them and their communities certainty,” AAU president Mary Sue Coleman said in a statement.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue called the decision the “right decision today for Dreamers, our economy, and our country” in a press release Thursday.

“Removing 700,000 Dreamers protected under DACA from our economy would deny our country talent, future leaders, and an essential piece of the American workforce including teachers, nurses, doctors, farmers, and entrepreneurs,” he said, calling for Congress to provide permanent relief.

The Chamber called Trump’s announcement to end the DACA program in 2017 “contrary to fundamental American principles and the best interests of our country.”

The business lobbying group is part of the Coalition for the American Dream, which brought together 143 trade associations and businesses in October to file an amicus brief, asking the Supreme Court to uphold DACA.

The National Retail Federation, the largest retail trade association, is part of the coalition and has argued that ending the program would lead to businesses losing talent and disruptions in the workforce.

“They are both valued workers and, in many cases, entrepreneurs and business owners,” CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement Thursday. “An adverse decision would have inflicted significant harm on individuals, businesses and the U.S. economy.

Shay called for Congress to “pass legislation permanently protecting these individuals so their future will never be in question again.”

The National Association of Manufacturers, also a member of the coalition, celebrated the decision Thursday and called on Congress to provide long-term certainty for DACA recipients.

“At least 27,000 DACA recipients are frontline health care workers, many others are filling other critical roles in our nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and all are a critical part of our society. They did not deserve to endure the cruel uncertainty and fear created by the administration’s action to end the program,” CEO Jay Timmons said in a statement.

Other industry groups including the National Restaurant Association, TechNet, a network of tech industry executives, and the Retail Industry Leaders Association also applauded the decision Thursday.

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