Zuckerberg says it's a 'sad day' as tech execs slam Trump for ending DACA

Key Points
  • The Trump administration announces it will rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
  • Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg says it's a "sad day" for the country.
Zuckerberg says it's a 'sad day' as tech execs slam Trump for ending DACA

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday called on Congress to pass a bill that protects undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, one of several technology CEOs to condemn President Donald Trump's move against an estimated 800,000 migrants.

Zuckerberg made his request after the administration announced it will rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which President Barack Obama created by executive action in 2012. Trump delayed the revocation of the plan to gave Congress time to come up with a solution.

Trump's action means hundreds of thousands previously protected by DACA could soon face the risk of deportation.

"This is a sad day for our country," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post.

"The decision to end DACA is not just wrong," he wrote. "It is particularly cruel to offer young people the American Dream, encourage them to come out of the shadows and trust our government, and then punish them for it.

"It's time for Congress to act to pass the bipartisan Dream Act or another legislative solution that gives Dreamers a pathway to citizenship," he wrote.

Critics of the DACA protections have argued this program incentivizes illegal immigration, or symbolized a .

But IBM has said it stands by those protected by the program. CEO Aaron Levie called for congressional action, as did Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

President Brad Smith wrote that "Congress should adopt legislation on DACA before it tries to adopt a tax reform bill," despite the fact that the company — one of America's richest tech firms — "cares greatly about modernizing the tax system."

Twitter's official policy arm noted its support of a letter from, a group that advocates for immigration reform and was co-founded by technology executives like Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.

"Dreamers are vital to the future of our companies and our economy," the letter said. "With them, we grow and create jobs. They are part of why we will continue to have a global competitive advantage."

Other signatories of the letter included:

  • CEO
  • CEO
  • CEO Randall Stephenson
  • Facebook chief operating officer
  • CEO Dion Weisler
  • LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner
  • Dan Schulman, CEO of
  • boss
  • Y Combinator's Sam Altman
  • Top executives from Uber, Lyft and Tesla, as well as CEO .
  • CEOs across other industries, like Arne Sorenson of , also signed on.

The technology industry has been staunchly opposed to some of Trump's other immigration proposals, including the initial version of a travel ban that limited immigration from several Muslim majority countries that the administration said were associated with terrorism. That proposal was opposed by in a legal filing, and was met with .

California — where many technology companies are headquartered — is one of the top economic beneficiaries of the DACA program, according to the Center for American Progress.

Uber's chief technology officer, Thuan Pham, said he was heart broken over Trump's decision, recalling his own escape from Vietnam on a boat, and saying that Uber employs 11 people protected by DACA. Apple's Cook said the company has workers in 28 states who are affected, noting in a memo to employees that he believed "regardless of where they were born, they deserve our respect as equals."

Roger McNamee on DACA: Tech CEOs are going to fight for this

Other technology CEOs are likely to do "everything in their power to protect their employees" from the repeal of a law protecting certain immigrants, technology investor Roger McNamee told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Tuesday.

"I don't know the answer," McNamee said. "Our entire economy is based on having lots of different kinds of people in it."

— CNBC's Sally Shin contributed reporting.

Correction: An earlier version misstated when the Trump administration announced its action against DACA.