Apple CEO Tim Cook said he’s ready to “fight until my toes point up” to defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that is currently allowing hundreds of his employees—and 700,000 young people nationally—to work legally and live from from the fear of deportation. “I am focused on DACA,” he told ABC News. “We have 450 folks in Apple, employed at Apple, who are employed on DACA. I want those folks protected. Not just the 450 but the broader DACA people in America.”
Cook’s remarks followed an “unprecedented” decision by Apple to file a legal brief in support of the program at the Supreme Court, which earlier this month heard oral arguments around the Trump administration’s unlawful and cruel decision to end the program in 2017. “Our interest in this case is simple,” Apple executives, including Cook, said in the filing. “We are distressed at the prospect of ripping our DACA colleagues from the fabric of our company.”
“One of Apple’s core values is the belief that equal opportunities should be available for all, regardless of background,” the brief continued. “The United States is at its best when all people are free to pursue their dreams. Our country has enjoyed unparalleled success by welcoming people from around the world who seek to make a better life for themselves and their families, no matter their backgrounds. DACA is an embodiment of those ideals.”
One Apple employee named in the brief, “D.O.,” described how he taught himself to code as a way to help support his mom. “I knew I needed to do everything I could, work as hard as I could, to get a job that would allow her to stop working in the fields,” he said in the filing. Today, he’s a valued member at Apple and has become a mentor to others. “These people are the core of what an American is,” Cook continued.