Apple's top executives showed their support for DACA recipients in an unprecedented way as the Supreme Courts gets ready to decide the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
CEO Tim Cook and senior vice president of retail Deirdre O’Brien signed a Supreme Court filing made public on Wednesday afternoon, saying the company disagrees with President Donald Trump’s decision to terminate the program — which temporarily shields certain young people, known as Dreamers, who came to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation and makes them eligible for work permits.
"Our interest in this case is simple: We are distressed at the prospect of ripping our DACA colleagues from the fabric of our company," the top executives said in the friend-of-the-court brief.
Apple's move comes as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments this fall on whether to reverse lower court decisions blocking Trump from ending the Obama-era program.
While Apple has previously filed numerous briefs before the court, this is the first time that Cook and O'Brien's names are included in a brief, which essentially makes the moral case for preserving DACA.
In it, they argue both that Dreamers were brought to the U.S. at a young age, "typically through no choice of their own," and were made a promise that they could stay and work in the country if they provided intimate information about themselves to the government.
"They fulfilled their end of the bargain. They have done everything right. In their patriotism, dedication to their families and communities, and commitment to making their country a better place, they are as American as any of us," the brief reads.
"Our country made a deal with a highly vulnerable population interested in a bright future, and we should keep that deal."
Nearly 700,000 DACA recipients live in the country and Apple employs about 443 across 36 states, a significant increase from the 250 who worked at the company in 2017, the tech giant said.
A Dreamer identified in the brief as D.O. is one of the hundreds of DACA recipients currently working at Apple.
His mother brought him to the U.S. from Mexico when he was 8, in an attempt to reunite with family members living in the states. D.O.'s mother ultimately got a job working in agricultural fields to financially maintain him.
"I knew I needed to do everything I could, work as hard as I could, to get a job that would allow her to stop working in the fields. You know, working in the fields, you don’t get benefits, you don’t get a retirement plan. I’m my mom’s retirement plan,” he said in the brief.
According to Apple, that drive contributed to his success at the company, adding that he was hired right out of college as a software development engineer in Sunnyvale, California.
Other DACA recipients at Apple serve in a variety of roles, including hardware development and software engineers as well as support and operations specialists, technicians and retail store geniuses, the company said.