- Top executives at Apple attached their names to an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold DACA.
- DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, provides a legal way for undocumented children brought to the United States to remain in the country
- In the brief, Apple mentions that it employees 443 Dreamers.
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Apple is putting its support behind DACA, the Obama administration program that allows undocumented immigrants brought into the United States as children to stay in the country. The company filed an amicus brief in support of the policy to protect the so-called Dreamers on Wednesday, raising the stakes in a high-profile case that will be taken up by the Supreme Court in the coming months.
The legal filing lists Apple, along with CEO Tim Cook and retail boss Deirdre O'Brien. "In this submission, Mr. Cook and Ms. O'Brien speak for Apple and, importantly, for themselves," the friend of the court brief says.
Apple's legal brief is a significant move by the tech company to participate in a high-profile public policy debate that puts it directly at odds with President Donald Trump. The Trump administration has sought to end the DACA protections, as it seeks to advance a controversial anti-immigration agenda.
Trump cancelled the DACA program in 2017, but the move was blocked by the lower courts and the issue is expected to be decided by the US Supreme Court in its current term.
"Apple employs DACA recipients who embody Apple's commitment to innovation in a wide variety of positions. As we explain below, they, and immigrants like them, are vital to Apple's success. They spark creativity and help drive innovation. They are among our most driven and selfless colleagues," the company wrote in the brief.
According to the brief, Apple employs 443 Dreamers from over 25 countries. Apple refers to itself as "one of the most successful companies in the history of the world," and says that this would not have been possible with its diverse workforce, partially attributing its success to Dreamers.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has spoken out for Dreamers in the past. "I stand with them. They deserve our respect as equals and a solution rooted in American values,"Cook tweeted in 2017.
Still, in joining the legal fight over DACA, Apple risks raising the ire of Trump, whose ongoing trade war with China has the potential to hugely impact Apple's business. Apple's supply chain for products from iPhones to Macs is deeply entwined in China, and so far, Cook has managed to insulate the company from many of the tariffs Trump has imposed on Chinese goods.
Wednesday's legal brief includes the personal stories of five individual Dreamers that work at Apple, and says that "dreamers fuel creativity, broaden knowledge, and help drive innovation. They inspire all of us. They make Apple better. They make our country better." Apple clarifies that Dreamers work in all areas of the company, including hardware development, software development, support, and retail.
This is a continuation of Apple's support of Dreamers. 9to5Mac reported that in 2017, Apple employed 250 Dreamers, so the company has hired significantly more in the past 2 years. That same year, Apple joined other companies in signing a brief against efforts to end DACA. Tim Cook also released a memo to employees promising that Apple would work with the US Congress on legislation to protect DACA recipients.