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Facebook, Google, Microsoft, SpaceX to Trump: US will lose $460.3 billion if we end 'dreamer' protection

A rally to support DACA in Las Vegas.
Photo by Ethan Miller
A rally to support DACA in Las Vegas.

The future of "Dreamers," children who arrived in the United States illegally, is pitting President Donald Trump against big tech.

And this week, big tech upped its opposition to Trump's effort to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by filing an amicus brief, or a legal statement of support, in California on Wednesday.

The amicus brief breaks down how damaging it would be to U.S. companies, workers and the economy for DACA to be repealed. The lawsuit says if DACA is rescinded, the U.S. economy would lose $460.3 billion over the next ten years. Contributions to Social Security and Medicare would be reduced by $24.6 billion in the same time frame, the lawsuit says.

In September, Trump decided to rescind DACA, which President Obama had established in 2012. Trump said he would allow the program to expire in March. Trump claimed Obama overreached his legislative authority to set up DACA, but the lawsuit big tech is supporting refutes this claim.

"DACA closely resembles deferred action programs adopted in the past, and complies fully with the applicable statute. The agency's rescission of DACA, predicated entirely on that erroneous legal conclusion, therefore cannot stand," the lawsuit says.

The amicus brief included signatories of 108 tech firms including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Tesla, SpaceX, Uber, Twitter, Verizon, Lyft, eBay, and the list goes on.

DACA gives "Dreamers" the ability to work in the U.S. legally. The $460 billion hit to the U.S. economy if DACA is rescinded is because 700,000 "dreamers," who are currently employed, would lose their jobs in the next two years. That's equivalent to 1,400 dreamers losing their job every day, the lawsuit says.

"Dreamers" currently work at 72 percent of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies including IBM, Walmart, Apple, General Motors, Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, Home Depot and Wells Fargo, the lawsuit says. Replacing those "Dreamers" put out of work will cost U.S. companies $6.3 billion.

The lawsuit disputes the claim that "Dreamers" are taking jobs that would otherwise go to Americans, instead positing "Dreamers" are often taking jobs that companies struggle to fill with qualified workers.

"The jobs being filled by Dreamers post-DACA are largely jobs for which there is a shortage of qualified workers—not the jobs that are or could be filled by U.S.-born workers," the lawsuit says. Indeed, since 2012, when Obama established DACA, the unemployment rate has fallen by almost half, the lawsuit says.

In September, when Trump announced his decision to rescind DACA initially, there was an outpouring of support from tech CEOs and leaders.

"This is a sad day for our country. The decision to end DACA is not just wrong. 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," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a public Facebook post.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a tweet, "Dreamers are our neighbors, our friends and our co-workers. This is their home."

See also:

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

A 'dreamer' opens up about life under Trump: 'The psychological trauma is real'

Uber CTO shares his journey as a refugee after Trump ends DACA