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Microsoft President Brad Smith talks DACA at the 2017 GeekWire Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Dan DeLong)

Big tech companies are forming a coalition to pressure Congress to provide a path to permanent residency for illegal immigrants who came to this country as children.

That’s according to documents obtained exclusively by Reuters. The Coalition for the American Dream will lobby on behalf of “Dreamers” protected by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) act, Reuters reports. Nearly two dozen big companies have joined the group, including Microsoft, Alphabet’s Google, Facebook, Intel, Uber, IBM, and Marriott International.

Last month, President Donald 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.

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

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg called the it “particularly cruel.” The immigration reform advocacy group he founded, FWD.us published a letter signed by approximately 300 leaders in tech and the rest of the business community — including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson — calling on Trump to continue the program to protect undocumented immigrants.

Amazon, Microsoft, and Starbucks also filed statements of support for a multi-state lawsuit seeking to halt the Trump administration’s DACA action.

Microsoft President Brad Smith has been particularly outspoken about DACA’s expiration, saying that the Trump administration is “going to have to go through us” before deporting any of the Microsoft employees protected by the program.

 

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