'Dreamers embody Apple’s innovation strategy': Apple CEO Tim Cook defends DACA recipients

"We did not hire them out of kindness or charity," Cook writes of Dreamers.

October 3, 2019, 11:50 AM

Executives at Apple, including CEO Tim Cook, displayed public support for the hundreds of DACA recipients that work at the company, arguing in a Supreme Court brief that "immigrants like them are vital to Apple’s success."

"After the DACA program was created, Apple eagerly sought out and hired Dreamers -- relying on the commitment our government made to them. Today, Apple employs 443 Dreamers who come from more than 25 different countries on four continents," Cook and Apple's special vice president of retail and people Deidre O'Brien wrote in an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court.

"We did not hire them out of kindness or charity. We did it because Dreamers embody Apple’s innovation strategy," the filing added. "They come from diverse backgrounds and display a wide range of skills and experiences that equip them to tackle problems from different perspectives."

The document highlights the stories of five "DACA colleagues who play vital roles throughout Apple," and calls the immigrants' stories and work ethic "inspiring."

PHOTO:Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks on-stage during a product launch event at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Sept. 10, 2019.
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks on-stage during a product launch event at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Sept. 10, 2019.
Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images, FILE

The filing also argues that Apple and other companies "would be weaker and less competitive without these extraordinary individuals in our workforce."

The filing, made public by Apple on Wednesday, comes as the Supreme Court prepares to examine the legality of DACA and President Donald Trump's decision to end the program, which imperiled the legal status of 700,000 people who came to the U.S. illegally as children.

A decision from the Supreme Court is expected in early 2020 just as the presidential campaign will kick into high gear.

Cook has voiced his support for Dreamers for years, though Wednesday's court filing has been his most dramatic show of solidarity.

In the court filing, Cook also paid tribute to Apple's founder, the late Steve Jobs, whose father was a Syrian immigrant, saying, "Apple would quite literally not exist without a brilliant and driven population of immigrants."

"Infusions of talent like the Dreamers from around the globe sustain and help drive Apple’s ability to thrive," it added. "Every one of these talented Dreamers should have the same opportunities as Steve did to create, work hard, and help change the world for the better."

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