Tech companies, groups push for DACA legislation on Capitol Hill

Tech companies, groups push for DACA legislation on Capitol Hill
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IBM, Microsoft, LinkedIn and the Mark Zuckerberg-backed immigration advocacy group Fwd.us came to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to urge lawmakers to prioritize legislation that would protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries.

Fwd, which coordinated the push with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, wants lawmakers to legally codify the DACA executive action that President Trump scrapped earlier this year.

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DACA, which was instituted by President Obama in 2012, allowed individuals who were brought to the country illegally as minors to stay and work in the U.S. The policy protects almost 700,000 individuals from being deported from the U.S. but is set to expire in March of 2018.

IBM’s vice president of government affairs, Chris Padilla, spoke at the event before Fwd representatives and "Dreamers" — another name for DACA beneficiaries — made their way to the Capitol to meet with lawmakers like Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.).

Following Attorney General Jeff Session’s announcement in September that the program would be rolled back, Microsoft President Brad Smith called on Congress to prioritize DACA legislation over tax reform, lawmakers' biggest concern at the time.

Lawmakers are still chiefly focused on tax reform, with the House set for a floor vote on their tax bill this week, while there has been little movement on a DACA bill.

IBM, which has launched its own efforts encouraging Congress to take action, is still hopeful that DACA legislation will pass in Congress by the end of the year as a part of Congress’s annual fiscal package.