“The Dreamers impacted by this cruel and misguided decision make significant contributions to our economy and our country, and I urge Congress to take immediate bipartisan action to pass legislation that will protect these innocent people.”
Those were the words of the Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger in a statement responding to President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals(DACA) program, an Obama-era immigration policy that began in 2012. The announcement of the decision was made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
This is not the first instance of Iger being at odds with Trump’s actions. The Disney CEO resigned from the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, an economic advisory council comprised of numerous high-profile business leaders, after Trump’s withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.
This is also not the first instance of Iger showing an interest in immigration policies. He joined the Partnership for a New American Economy in 2010, a group advocating for immigration reform and seeking an path for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. to achieve legal status.
Since its inception, the number of those affected by DACA (commonly called “Dreamers”) has risen to nearly 800,000. DACA protects undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation, giving them the ability to obtain jobs, valid driver’s licenses, enroll in college, and pay income taxes. DACA does not grant them permanent U.S. residence or offer a path to U.S. citizenship.
Iger joins a list of notable executives opposing the program. Apple’s Tim Cook noted that 250 of the company’s employees were Dreamers, and that Apple would “fight for them to be treated as equals.” Last week, before the announcement was made, Cook signed a letter urging the President to retain the program; other executives who added their names to the letter included Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, AT&T’s Randal Stephenson, IAC’s Barry Diller, and Casey Wasserman.
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