Brad Smith, the chief legal officer at Microsoft, sent a clear message to legislators Tuesday: It is “an economic imperative and humanitarian necessity” to pass legislation that protects the 800,000 children of undocumented immigrants who are losing their legal safeguards under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. President Trump formally announced on Tuesday that he would end DACA, giving lawmakers six months to come up with a new plan.
Writing on his company blog, Smith said that the issue is so important that Congress should write new legislation before turning to other pressing matters: “We believe … that Congress now needs to reprioritize the fall legislative calendar and move quickly with new legislation to protect these 800,000 Dreamers. This means that Congress should adopt legislation on DACA before it tries to adopt a tax reform bill.”
Modernizing the tax system is an important goal for Microsoft, Smith writes, but it’s not as important as this humanitarian need. In the event that Congress fails to pass new legislation, the software giant will pay for legal counsel for the 39 “Dreamers” it employs, and the company is calling on the American business community to help defend the rights of the children involved.