Apple's Tim Cook, Business Roundtable push Congress to pass immigration bills
'The vast majority of Americans believe that standing up for Dreamers should be a priority,' Cook says
A coalition of more than 100 of the largest businesses in the U.S. chaired by Apple CEO Tim Cook is urging Congress to pass a pair of immigration bills backed by Democrats.
Cook and the Business Roundtable asked for support for the American Dream and Promise Act, which would cancel and prohibit removal proceedings against undocumented immigrants -- including "Dreamers," or people impacted by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program -- and help them achieve permanent U.S. citizenship.
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"Dreamers — who came to America as children and who know it as their only home — make invaluable contributions to America and certainly to companies like ours," Cook said in a Thursday statement.
He continued: "Dreamers have been on the frontlines of fighting the pandemic as healthcare workers, of caring for our communities, and of working in the disciplines and industries that will help America emerge stronger on the other side of COVID-19."
Business Roundtable, which includes CEOs representing Amazon, Google, Facebook and other large U.S. companies, also supports the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which affects foreign guest workers.
“Helping temporary workers with critical and in-demand skills contribute to the American marketplace of ideas and workforce should be a key component of reforming the U.S. immigration system,” Cook said.
Proponents of "Dreamer" legislation, such as the American Immigration Lawyers Association, say it would help improve American families and economic conditions.
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Opponents say the legislation is too vast and "seeks to reward illegal aliens at the expense of American citizens," researchers at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank, wrote in a March 16 report.
Cook and the Business Roundtable sent a letter to senators on March 3, urging them to legalize Dreamers and pass the Dream Act of 2021.
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The Dream Act would allow undocumented students -- or those who work lawfully for three years or serve in the military -- who were brought to the U.S. as children to obtain citizenship. Corporate America has long supported legalization for Dreamers.
Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., reintroduced the bipartisan Dream Act of 2021 on Feb. 2.