Zuckerberg-backed immigration group pushes Trump to keep DACA

Zuckerberg-backed immigration group pushes Trump to keep DACA
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The technology industry is pushing President TrumpDonald John TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report MORE to not scrap a policy that protects almost 800,000 undocumented individuals from being deported.

Fwd.us, an immigration advocacy group, is soliciting signatures from business leaders for an open letter to the White House, The Hill has learned. The letter urges Trump to not get rid of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. It was created by the Obama administration in 2012 and allowed some undocumented individuals who entered the country before the age of 16 to remain in the country.

In a draft of the letter obtained by The Hill, Fwd.us projected that if Trump were to go back on the matter, it would cost the national GDP over $460 billion. The group calls those affected by the potential policy change “vital to the future of our companies and our economy.”

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Fwd.us also called on Congress to pass bipartisan legislation on the Development, Relief, and Education of Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would codify similar policies as DACA into federal law. DACA is currently an executive policy that requires only the decision of the president to repeal.

Fwd.us largely has the interests of major technology firms in immigration reform. The group’s founders include Bill Gates and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and counts former Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom among its formal supporters.

Tech’s main interest in immigration policy is in visas for high-skilled workers that allow them to recruit top engineering talent from overseas. Fwd.us, however, focuses on comprehensive immigration policy including H-1B visas for high-skilled workers, DACA, the DREAM Act and a range of other immigration policies.

Multiple outlets reported on Thursday that the Trump administration intends to get rid of DACA. During a White House press briefing on Thursday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that an official decision had not been made yet.

Ten state attorneys general who oppose the policy set a Sept. 5 deadline for the president to act by. If Trump doesn’t take action by then, it’s likely that they will pursue legal action.