Viacom CEO Bob Bakish on Tuesday joined dozens of other business leaders in signing a letter calling on President Donald Trump and Congress to preserve the DACA program or find a “permanent solution” for the nearly 800,000 recipients of the program.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ended weeks of speculation of the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), announcing this morning that Trump had decided to end the executive order signed by former President Barack Obama in 2012. Backlash was swift, with criticism coming from business leaders, Democrats, and some Republicans. Disney CEO Bob Iger called the move “cruel and misguided.”
“As entrepreneurs and business leaders, we are concerned about new developments in immigration policy that threaten the future of young undocumented immigrants brought to America as children,” said the letter, addressed Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“Unless we act now to preserve the DACA program, all 780,000 hardworking young people will lose their ability to work legally in this country, and every one of them will be at immediate risk of deportation,” the letter said. “Dreamers are vital to the future of our companies and our economy. With them, we grow and create jobs. They are part of why we will continue to have a global competitive advantage.”
Among other executives who signed the letter are AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, as well as top Silicon Valley executives like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.