Businesses including Apple and General Motors ask Trump to keep DACA in place

A group of top business leaders asked US President Donald Trump in a letter on Saturday to keep a program that protects nearly 800,000 young immigrants from deportation, stating that the economic recovery from the pandemic could be hurt if it is rescinded.

The letter arguing in support of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was sent by the Coalition for the American Dream, and was signed by more than 100 corporations including Apple, Hilton Worldwide, General Motors, Starbucks, Google and Amazon.

“This is no time to disrupt the economic recovery of our companies and communities, nor time to jeopardize the health and safety of these vulnerable individuals,” the letter says. “We ask that you leave DACA in place and refrain from taking any additional administrative actions that would negatively impact the DACA program.”

IBM, one of the signatories to the letter, explained to CNN Business in a statement why it signed the letter.

“Dreamers make invaluable contributions to companies and communities across this country,” said Christopher A. Padilla, IBM’s vice president for government and regulatory affairs. “There is no benefit to subjecting these young men and women to more unilateral action and lengthy court fights.”

The Supreme Court blocked the Trump Administration’s attempt to end DACA on June 18, ruling 5-to-4 on procedural grounds that the administration failed to provide an adequate reason for ending the program. Administration officials said they will try to terminate it again.

In his opinion, Roberts didn’t question whether the Trump administration had the authority to end the program, only that it had failed to follow proper procedures. “We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies,” Roberts wrote. “‘The wisdom of those decisions is none of our concern. We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action,” Roberts wrote.

Trump immediately floated that he would issue a new memo to end DACA, following the court’s guidelines, that would once again put the Dreamers in legal limbo.

In an interview with Telemundo Friday, Trump said he still plans to rescind the policy. “DACA is going to be just fine. We’re putting it in,” Trump told the Spanish-language network. “I’m gonna do a big executive order, I have the power to do it as president and I’m going to make DACA a part of it.”

He added, “But we put it in and then we’re probably going to be then taking it out. We’re working out the legal complexities right now, but I’m going to be signing a very major immigration bill as an executive order, which the Supreme Court now, because of the DACA decision, has given me the power to do that.”

Trump said that one aspect of the executive order would include “a road to citizenship.”

After Trump’s interview, White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere attempted to clarify the President’s remarks.

“As the President announced today, he is working on an executive order to establish a merit-based immigration system to further protect US workers,” Deere said on Friday. “Furthermore, the President has long said he is willing to work with Congress on a negotiated legislative solution to DACA, one that could include citizenship, along with strong border security and permanent merit-based reforms. This does not include amnesty.”

When reached for comment Saturday, the White House referred CNN Business to Deere’s prior statement.

In an interview on “Fox and Friends” Saturday morning, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said the President was talking about two separate things.

The first, he said, is an executive order that would establish a “merit-based immigration system.”

One of the members of the Coalition for the American Dream, Todd Schulte, president of FWD, a bipartisan advocacy organization founded by business leaders, told CNN Business his view of Trump’s remarks.

“Either he’s getting rid of DACA, in which case he’s doing everything he can to subject dreamers to deportation, or he can keep DACA,” Schulte added, “It’s very straightforward. There’s no ‘I’m helping DACA recipients by getting rid of DACA.’ That’s like Orwellian nonsense.”