Princeton, Microsoft File Lawsuit Against Trump’s DACA Decision
Princeton University, one of its students and Microsoft have challenged the Donald Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The federal government had announced on Sept. 5 that the United States would end the program, started by the Barack Obama administration in March 2018.
The Princeton complaint filed on Nov. 3 claims that DACA’s termination violated both the United States Constitution and federal law. In her complaint, Princeton student Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez, who has been a beneficiary of the DACA program, said that ending it harms her and other young people in the program, known as dreamers, and “the employers and educational institutions that rely on and benefit from their contributions.”
Big technology companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and SpaceX have also joined the legal battle against the federal government decision. The amicus brief filed by the companies claims that United States would lose $460.3 billion in the coming decade and contributions to Social Security and Medicare would go down by $24.6 billion in the same time frame. The amicus brief was signed by 108 tech companies.
In 2012, the Obama government created the program so that immigrants who arrived illegally as children could receive protection from deportation. Their deportation was deferred if they fit certain criteria and could complete their education and continue working.
In a statement the university said, Princeton’s DACA students “are among the most accomplished and respected students studying at the University” — they “study in a diverse array of fields,” “serve as mentors and peer advisors, class representatives in student government, and as community organizers and campus leaders,” and “have earned numerous academic honors, awards, and fellowships.”
Meanwhile, Microsoft and its subsidiary LinkedIn said Dreamers “serve in critical roles,” including as software engineers, financial analysts, inventory control experts, and in core technical and operations positions and other specialized functions and internships. The company has made significant investments in “recruiting, retaining and developing” employees “who are Dreamers,” and it has “significant interests in retaining the Dreamers it employs, and in reaping the benefits of their talent over time. It has conducted its business operations on the understanding that these individuals would continue to be eligible to work at the company.”
Replacing dreamers, who work in 72 per cent of top 25 Fortune 500 companies, will cost the companies $6.3 billion. The lawsuit by the tech companies said, “The jobs being filled by Dreamers post-DACA are largely jobs for which there is a shortage of qualified workers—not the jobs that are or could be filled by U.S.-born workers.”
Trump, meanwhile, warned Congressional Democrats that to keep the DACA, which involves the fate of 800,000 people, they would have to lend support to a border wall with Mexico and ending “chain migration”, which allows legal residents to bring their relatives. Democrats had indicated that they would cause trouble for the year-end spending bill.