Trump's employee threat: Apple, Facebook & Microsoft hit back

Trump's employee threat: Apple, Facebook & Microsoft hit back

Top tech firms have hit back at the decision of Trump’s administration to end a programme which protects employees that arrived in the US as migrant children.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a US programme that provides relief from deportation for eligible youth who arrived as undocumented immigrants in the US when they were children.

Trump’s administration plans to end the programme in six months’ time. With many of these immigrants now working in the US, employers have made public proclamations in protest against the decision.

Microsoft has promised to go to court to defend any employee who faces deportation. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s President, said: “It’s going to have to go through us to get that person.”

Furthermore, Tim Cook, CEO, Apple, tweeted support for those potentially affected by these changes. He wrote: “Apple will fight for them to be treated as equals.”

In an internal memo, obtained by the Guardian, Cook went even further, calling Trump’s decision a “setback for our nation.”

At the time of writing, more than 250 Apple employees are affected by DACA. Cook said: “We are working closely with each of our co-workers to provide them and their families the support they need, including the advice of immigration experts.”

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg added that the news was a “sad day for our country.” He called the end of DACA “particularly cruel”.

Previously, Donald Trump’s Executive Order ban on immigration sparked protest from some of the technology industry’s biggest employers.

Google staged a series of whole office walkouts across several locations. Zuckerberg voiced worries about the ban’s potential impact on future talent and Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos pledged full legal support from his company in fighting the ban.

However, the US is not the only country polarised by the debate regarding the state of its immigrant workforce.

Leaked Home Office documents show that the current government’s post-Brexit plan for its workforce includes ending free movement of labour immediately and adding restrictions that attempt to deter all but highly-skilled EU workers from entering the UK.

A government spokesperson said that the Home Office will not comment on leaked draft documents, adding that they “will be setting out our initial proposals for a new immigration system which takes back control of the UK’s borders later in the autumn.”

If the Home Office’s plans come to fruition, some HR departments will be fearful it could impact their hiring ability.

Earlier this year, Andre Wareham, HR Director, Pret A Manger, told the House of Lords economic affairs select committee that only one in 50 of their applicants is British.

To see how UK employers and HR practioners have reacted to the government's leaked Brexit plans on immigration, click here.

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