Saying “today is a sad day for our country,” Mark Zuckerberg, one of the tech industry’s most vocal advocates for “Dreamers,” reacted quickly to the Trump administration’s announcement Tuesday morning that it is ending DACA.
“The decision to end DACA is not just wrong,” the Facebook CEO said in a post. “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.”
Zuckerberg, who co-founded FWD.us, an immigration lobbying group, has long expressed his support for Dreamers, also known as undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children. Among other things, he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have contributed $5 million to a scholarship fund to help Dreamers with college.
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DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was established under President Obama five years ago. It allows Dreamers to study and work in the United States and protects them from deportation. Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the nation is phasing out the program, and that President Trump is punting the issue to Congress, which could replace the program with legislation before it expires in March 2018.
Last week, as reports that Trump was going to end DACA circulated, Zuckerberg and hundreds of other business executives sent a letter to the president, urging him to reconsider.
Zuckerberg again engaged with commenters on his Facebook post Tuesday, just days after mixing it up with commenters last week about the same issue. He noted that for Congress, “the challenge will be keeping this bill clean and being willing to compromise for the greater good.” Both Republicans and Democrats may want to attach other conditions to such a bill, Zuckerberg wrote, but must not drag their feet because time is of the essence, he said.
He also posted last week that he stood with Dreamers. When some Facebook commenters disagreed with him, he pushed back. In one particularly candid exchange, a woman said, “people who jump over fences and enter this country illegal [sic] are not dreamers they are criminals and should be deported!” Zuckerberg wrote back: “It’s tough to jump over a fence when you’re 1 or 2 years old. Many of these young folks didn’t even make the decision to come here themselves.”
Photo: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2015. (LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)
Tags: DACA, Dreamers, immigration, mark zuckerberg