Soon after it was reported that US President Donald Trump may roll back the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith have criticised the presidential stance. The DACA programme was established by former US President Barack Obama to shield hundreds of thousands of undocumented youths from deportation.
The criticism was followed by two separate statements by Nadella and Smith. “We are deeply concerned by news reports about changes to DACA that are under consideration. These changes would not only negatively impact thousands of hardworking people across the United States, but will be a step backwards for our entire nation,” Smith said in a blog post on Thursday. “Ending DACA will drastically disrupt the lives of these individuals who willingly came forward to register with the federal government. They could lose their jobs and risk deportation,” Smith added.
The Microsoft executive also said that this repeal would also have significant economic consequences and it could cost the American economy $460.3 billion in GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions over the course of a decade. He also said that the end to the programme would also result in the country losing talent. Microsoft itself has hired 27 DACA beneficiaries. “They are software engineers with top technical skills, finance professionals driving our business ambitions forward and retail and sales associates connecting customers to our technologies. Each of them is actively participating in our collective mission to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more,” he added.
Soon after Smith’s post, Nadella continued in a separate post that the announcement takes him to two things — “the enduring principles and values that have made the United States what it is, and his own personal story”. “As I shared at the White House in June, I am a product of two uniquely American attributes: the ingenuity of American technology reaching me where I was growing up, fuelling my dreams, and the enlightened immigration policy that allowed me to pursue my dreams,” Nadella wrote.
He added that there was no question that the priority must be to create more jobs and opportunity for every American citizen. “On top of this, smart immigration can help our economic growth and global competitiveness,” Nadella posted.
According to a report in The Verge, Trump seemed to back away from the suggestion. If reports are accurate, he could now be moving ahead with changes.