Key Words: Apple’s Tim Cook urges Supreme Court to preserve DACA

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In a friend-of-the-court brief filed Wednesday, top executives at Apple Inc. urged the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold DACA, the Obama-era law protecting the immigration status of those who came to America as the children of undocumented immigrants.

“We are distressed at the prospect of ripping our DACA colleagues from the fabric of our company.”

Tim Cook and Deidre O’Brien

Apple AAPL, -2.51%   employs 443 “Dreamers” from 25 countries, Chief Executive Tim Cook and human resources chief Deidre O’Brien said in the brief. “They spark creativity and help drive innovation. They are among our most driven and selfless colleagues.”

“We did not hire them out of kindness or charity,” they wrote. “We did it because Dreamers embody Apple’s innovation strategy. They come from diverse backgrounds and display a wide range of skills and experiences that equip them to tackle problems from different perspectives. Because they thrived in the face of adversity, they often exhibit extraordinary levels of grit and drive. . . . They have earned the right to continue to contribute to our company and to our society.”

“Apple would quite literally not exist without a brilliant and driven population of immigrants,” Cook and O’Brien said, noting that the father of co-founder Steve Jobs immigrated to the U.S. from Syria.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in November over the Trump administration’s 2017 decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. A ruling is expected by next June. If the Trump administration’s decision is upheld, hundreds of thousands of young immigrants could be deported.

Cook has been outspoken in the past about his support for Dreamers, saying in 2017: “I stand with them.” Cook is not alone; in 2017 a number of executives at top tech companies — including Microsoft Corp. MSFT, -1.77%  , Inc. AMZN, -1.29%   and Facebook Inc. FB, -0.69%   — voiced their collective support for DACA’s preservation.

“We collectively owe it to the Dreamers to hold up our end of the bargain,” the Apple execs said in their brief. “It is not just a legal requirement. It is the moral thing to do.”

Apple shares slipped Wednesday, but the tech giant’s market cap remained above $1 trillion. Apple stock is up 39% year to date, compared to a 12% gain this year by the Down Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -1.86%  , of which it is a component.