Tim Cook was among the top tech leaders who sat down with Trump ahead of inauguration in hopes of helping shape the new president’s tech policy. But like many of those who held a glimmer of hope for some post-election softening of campaign rhetoric, Apple’s CEO has found more than a few reasons to push back. In the wake of the violence in Charlottesville last month that ended in three deaths, Cook issued a statement highlighting his disagreement with Trump's response.
Cook took to Twitter this morning, to expand on his support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) following news that Trump could end the program next week. Signed by President Obama in 2012, the "Dreamers" program protects undocumented young immigrants from threat of deportation. In his tweet, Cook explained that the company currently employs 250 Dreamers.
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
Trump told the press this week that he’s been considering ending the program, with a press secretary adding that a decision would be announced on Tuesday of next week, just after the Labor Day holiday. The move would be an extension of the promises that fueled the President’s campaign from the outset, including including the kick-off event in which, he told the crowd that Mexico is “bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
News that Trump was strongly considering ending the program prompted Cook, along with the heads of Amazon, Google, Netflix and other key tech companies to pen a letter this week asking Trump to continue DACA. “Dreamers are vital to the future of our companies and our economy,” the letter reads. “With them, we grow and create jobs. They are part of why we will continue to have a global competitive advantage.”
The letter noted the “780,000 hardworking young people” that would risk deportation, should DACA come to an end. With today’s tweet, Cook explained that the program is more than just abstract politics for the company. Ending it on Tuesday would have a tangible impact on Apple, along with the rest of the reported 72 percent of Fortune 500 companies that currently employ Dreamers.
The potential repeal has proven controversial even with leaders of Trump's own party. On Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan expressed concern about the move, telling reporters, "I actually don't think he should do that. I believe that this is something that Congress has to fix."