Microsoft President Brad Smith has become a vocal critic of President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program that gives so-called “Dreamers,” who arrived in the U.S. as children, authorization to work and protection from deportation.
In interviews with GeekWire and Bloomberg Technology during the GeekWire Summit this week, Smith explained why this has become a flagship issue for Microsoft.
“It is important, in part, because we have 44 employees that are registered under DACA,” he said. “They are important to our company. They’re important to our customers. They’re emblematic of the 800,000 people who are covered by DACA. It’s a humanitarian issue. It’s an economic issue. It’s a business issue and we want our employees to know that we have their back.”
Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks have filed statements of support for a multi-state lawsuit seeking to halt the Dreamers repeal. In a previous NPR interview, Smith said that “there is nothing that we will be pushing on more strongly for Congress to act on,” than DACA.
Despite that strong rhetoric, Smith told GeekWire that Microsoft has a “good dialogue” with the White House and said he is willing to work with any lawmaker or branch of government that can help advance the company’s DACA agenda.
“Our view is simple,” Smith said. “We will partner wherever we can and we’ll stand apart wherever we should.