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Microsoft and Princeton urge strong protections for Dreamers in DACA rulemaking

Microsoft representatives at the Supreme Court in November 2019.

Editor’s note: In 2017, Microsoft and Princeton University, alongside with Princeton pupil María Perales Sánchez, filed suit over the tried rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, ultimately prevailing in the Supreme Court. Today, Microsoft and Princeton submitted feedback in support of a proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DHS Docket No. USCIS-2021-0006, revealed September 28, 2021).

In their feedback, Microsoft and Princeton elaborate why the program reflects wise policy judgments and why the contributions of DACA recipients are so necessary to our economy and society. Microsoft currently employs 81 DACA recipients, which it would not be able to do without the work authorization component of a DACA policy. At Microsoft, DACA recipients work in roles ranging from engineers and technical sales professionals to finance managers and program managers. They are core members of teams across Microsoft’s business, and Microsoft depends on them to produce revolutionary software solutions that power financial growth in this nation.

Below is the cover letter from Christopher L. Eisgruber, President, Princeton University, and Brad Smith, President and Vice Chair of Microsoft, underscoring the significant impact of Dreamers. The full submitting will be available here.


On behalf of Princeton University and Microsoft Corporation, we submit the following feedback in response to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s proposed rule on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DHS Docket No. USCIS-2021-0006, revealed September 28, 2021).

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a wise and humane policy. It is critically necessary to DACA recipients, their families and communities, their employers, and society more broadly. Princeton and Microsoft are proud to join together in support of the proposed rule because we know first-hand the significance of DACA and the invaluable contributions that DACA recipients have made to higher education, the economy, and our nation. Indeed, DACA is so necessary to us that Princeton and Microsoft filed suit, alongside with a Princeton alumna who was then an enrolled pupil, to stop its tried rescission in 2017. We and our co-litigants ultimately prevailed in the Supreme Court.[1]

We applaud the Administration for its efforts to strengthen and fortify this necessary policy, and we are pleased to offer the attached feedback and suggestions on the proposed rule.

Undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children – a group commonly referred to as DREAMers – grew up in this nation and attended our schools. Many now have children who were born in this nation and are American citizens. They regard the United States as their home, and they contribute tremendously to our communities and our economy. DACA provides a path by which they can further their education, obtain work, pay taxes, contribute to Social Security, search healthcare, and travel. DACA enables these law-abiding individuals to live as productive members of society and to work at companies like Microsoft without constant fright of removing. It allows them to feel secure enough to invest in their prospective and the prospective of this nation.

For the past decade, Princeton and Microsoft have relied on the legal protections provided by the 2012 Napolitano Memorandum, as well as the work authorization for DREAMers that deferred action makes possible. At Princeton, DACA recipients have been among our most accomplished and respected students. They conduct research, earn academic honors, serve in leadership roles on campus, and otherwise help enhance our learning environment. The benefits bestowed by DACA allow our students to participate in all aspects of the college experience, including research abroad, internships, and college-related travel. DACA also allows these students to secure employment upon graduation, using their education, talent, and training to thrive as members of our society and make our communities and our nation stronger. At Microsoft, we employ more than 5 dozen DACA recipients who serve in critical roles and make invaluable contributions to our company. Microsoft benefits from and depends on their talents in a range of areas and has a significant interest in retaining these representatives. Other educational institutions and companies and, indeed, our economy and nation advantage equally. We would all be significantly and negatively impacted by the loss of DREAMers.

Just as our nation has approach to rely on the contributions of DACA recipients, DACA recipients rely on DACA in their pursuit of the American Dream. Deferred action has allowed millions of motivated individuals to pursue their educations, develop their talents, and search employment. Without the full breadth of these protections, they would be confined to dwelling in the shadows, unable to contribute freely and fully to the communities around them. They should be reassured, through concrete action by our government, that their contributions are welcomed and valued. And the businesses and institutions that advantage from their contributions should be reassured that these valuable community members will be handled justly.

We encourage DHS to exercise its statutory authority to establish fair rules that uphold lengthy-standing protections for DREAMers and take all actions appropriate to fortify DACA. We also urge Congress to pass legislation that would provide everlasting protection and a path to citizenship for these individuals. Legislative action is the only way to ensure the lengthy-term protection that DREAMers deserve and require; enacting it would be just, humane, and beneficial to the national interest.


Christopher L. Eisgruber
Princeton University

Bradford L. Smith
President, Vice Chair
Microsoft Corporation


[1] See Dep’t of Homeland Sec. v. Regents of the Univ. of Cal., 140 S. Ct. 1891 (2020).


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