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Silicon Valley is preparing to blast Trump if he ends protections for Dreamers

Microsoft is the first to criticize the president’s immigration decision, expected Friday.

President Trump at a podium in Springfield, Missouri Michael B. Thomas / Getty

President Donald Trump is expected on Friday to eliminate a program that protects young people brought to the United States illegally as children from being deported — a move that’s already drawing strong objections from Microsoft and Uber.

The program in question is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and since it was implemented under former President Barack Obama, more than 800,000 so-called Dreamers have been allowed to stay in the country by obtaining renewable work permits.

But Trump pledged on the campaign trail to scrap the Obama-era initiative. Even after promising in recent months to treat Dreamers with “great heart,” he has weighed ways to end the program, known by its acronym DACA, according to numerous reports this week. Early details suggest Trump’s announcement Friday would allow Dreamers to stay in the United States until their two-year work permits run out.

In doing so, though, Trump renewed his long-simmering war with tech industry, which has fiercely defended immigration programs — in no small part because of the high concentration of foreign workers and families in tech hubs like Silicon Valley.

Microsoft, for one, implored Trump on Thursday to reconsider his approach, noting that at least 27 of its employees — from engineers to financial professionals — could be affected by changes targeting the Dreamers.

“Ending DACA will drastically disrupt the lives of these individuals who willingly came forward to register with the federal government. They could lose their jobs and risk deportation,” Brad Smith, the company’s president and chief legal officer, explained in a blog post.

Later, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella offered his own take: “We care deeply about the DREAMers who work at Microsoft and fully support them. We will always stand for diversity and economic opportunity for everyone.”

And Uber issued its own, early appeal on Thursday. "Dreamers grew up here, live here, and are contributing to our communities and our economy,” the company said in a statement. “Their contributions make America more competitive and they deserve the opportunity to work, study, and pursue the American dream."

Uber’s reaction came from the company itself, but it’s notable because it marks the ride-hailing app’s first major statement on immigration since the appointment of its new chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi — himself an immigrant from Iran who has criticized Trump for his handling of such issues.

Taken together, the early statements are merely the latest spat between Trump and tech on immigration: Previously, Amazon, Facebook and Google have clashed with the president as he has sought to bar some foreign refugees, reduce legal immigration and rethink high-skilled foreign worker programs. Some, like Apple CEO Tim Cook, have specifically expressed to Trump directly their desire to see DACA kept intact.

The expected announcement Friday comes amid the threat of a looming lawsuit from 10 state attorneys general, led by Texas, who oppose DACA — and said they would take Trump to court if he hadn’t canceled it by Sept. 5.

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