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Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith has said the U.S. government will have to “go through us” to deport any Microsoft employees in the “Dreamers” program. (GeekWire Photo)

Microsoft and Princeton University are suing the Trump administration in an attempt to preserve the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program.

The tech giant and top U.S. university, along with one of its students, filed a lawsuit Friday in a U.S. District Court in Washington D.C., alleging that President Donald Trump’s attempt to end DACA violates both the U.S Constitution and federal law.

DACA is an Obama-era program that provided work permits and deferred deportation for people who entered the country illegally as children. The lawsuit contends that ending the legislation would harm people affected by DACA, known as “Dreamers,” along with “the employers and educational institutions that rely on and benefit from their contributions.”

In September, Trump announced he will let DACA expire in March. If Congress doesn’t intervene before then, more than 800,000 Dreamers will be eligible for deportation. Under DACA’s protection, those immigrants are sanctioned to work and study in the U.S.

“As one of the nation’s leading private universities, Princeton joins the many voices — individuals, states, institutions of higher learning, organizations of all kinds — in seeking to remedy the injustice done to the nation’s Dreamers, who only seek the opportunity that America has afforded so many others before them,” Princeton University General Counsel Ramona Romero said in a statement.

You can read the full suit here.

The decision to end DACA ignited outrage from the tech community, which has rallied behind immigration as a flagship issue.

Microsoft has already strongly criticized the decision to end DACA and pledged to use its legal resources to protect the “Dreamers” who work for the company and could be deported without protection from DACA.

Microsoft and nearly two dozen other big companies — including Facebook, Alphabet, Intel, Uber, and others — joined a coalition last month that will lobby on behalf of “Dreamers.” In addition, Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks in September filed statements of support for a multi-state lawsuit seeking to halt the Trump administration’s action.

“If Congress fails to act, our company will exercise its legal rights properly to help protect our employees … In short, if Dreamers who are our employees are in court, we will be by their side,” Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote in a blog post this past September. He told NPR that the government will have to “go through us” to deport any Microsoft employees as a result of DACA potentially ending.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to reflect the correct description of DACA. 

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