SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF & AP) — Apple and San Francisco-based Catholic health care giant Dignity Health called on President Donald Trump Sunday to keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in place.
Apple CEO Tim Cook says he is standing by hundreds of Apple immigrant employees brought to the United States as children who have been shielded from deportation by a program President Donald Trump might eliminate.
Cook tweeted Sunday that “250 of my Apple co-workers are #Dreamers. I stand with them. They deserve our respect as equals and a solution rooted in American values.”
The Apple CEO joined Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and the heads of Microsoft and Google in putting pressure on Trump to keep the program.
Meanwhile, Dignity Health joined other members of the Catholic Health Association representing 600 hospitals and 1,400 long-term care facilities across the country in calling for Trump to keep DACA in place.
“As employers of millions of dedicated health care professionals, we have a very strong interest in ensuring a continued supply of great potential employees,” the letter sent to Trump this weekend from the CEOs of more than a dozen U.S. Catholic health systems said. “As nurses, physicians, aides, dietary workers… they are part of what makes American health care great. As leaders of teams and organizations, we believe that inclusivity makes us more attractive to great people and that diversity makes us stronger.”
Immigrants are bracing for the prospect of losing their jobs as their work permits end and possible deportation if the president does away with the program.
Eli Oh of San Jose said he was working as a waiter under the table to pay for his nursing degree before he enrolled in the program.
Oh, 30, has lived in the United States for nearly two decades since his Korean parents overstayed their visa. He works as a nurse who responds to hospital emergencies, and fears he’ll be unemployed if his work permit goes away.
“I went from saving lives at a hospital and delivering health care, and now I am like, I might have to drive Uber to pay rent,” he said.
Trump railed against the Obama program on the campaign trail, calling it illegal “amnesty.” He later said it’s been one of the most difficult issues he’s dealt with.
Republican officials from 10 states have threatened to file a lawsuit to stop the program. They gave the Trump administration a Sept. 5 deadline to act, although the attorney general of Tennessee, Herbert Slatery III, said Friday his state would no longer pursue the lawsuit.
To qualify, immigrants must have proof that they were brought to the U.S. before they reached age 16. They can’t have a criminal record, and their work permits and deportation reprieve must be renewed every two years at the cost of nearly $500, plus costs to hire an attorney to help with the process.
The issue is especially prominent in California, home to one of every four people covered by the program.