How kind and patient President Trump must think he’s being by waiting until the day after Labor Day to end the DACA (Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals) program, commonly referred to as the “Dreamers” program. That, however, is the day that Trump is expected to announce that the US government will no longer support the Obama-originated program that deferred deportation of nearly one million people who were brought to this country, through no fault of their own, as undocumented children by their illegal immigrant parents.
The program was established by the Obama administration to give work permits to a generation of people who were raised and have lived in America for most of their lives, and would otherwise be deported to an ancestral country that they hardly know. Since it was enacted by executive order, rather than by an actual law passed by Congress, Trump can reverse the policy with the simple stroke of a pen.
Whatever your opinion in the debate over whether the president can implement a new immigration policy without the approval of Congress, the fact remains that a vast majority of the so-called “Dreamers” are already productive members of American society, working in jobs or going to school, paying taxes, and integrating and assimilating themselves into the fabric of America.
Increasingly, some of the nation’s most respected business leaders are weighing in on the issue as well. They have companies to run and shareholders to report to, and the sudden deportation of valued employees is not something that they are looking forward to.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is the latest titan of industry to add his voice to the debate. He took to Twitter today to plead for a rational and compassionate solution to an issue that not only tugs on his conscience, but deeply affects Apple and its operations as well.
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
While Trump has indicated that he intends to end DACA imminently, some Republican leaders have called on him to hold off while they figure out a legislative solution to the issue. On the other hand, Republican Attorneys General in several states have threatened to sue the federal government if the program is not rescinded.
With the Republican Party in disarray on the issue, let’s hope that appeals for thoughtful action coming from business leaders like Tim Cooke will lead to action from Congress that will render Trump’s actions moot. At least we can dream.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.