Tech companies lobby for 'Dreamers'

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WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Google, Microsoft and Facebook are among dozens of tech companies joining a coalition backing "Dreamers".

The Coalition for the American Dream intends to ask Congress to pass bipartisan legislation this year to allow immigrants, often referred to as "Dreamers", to continue working in the United States. It would also open a path to permanent residency for them.

The push comes after President Donald Trump decided to let the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) program expire in March. Daca was established by President Barack Obama in 2012. It was meant to help illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children. With Daca, approximately 900,000 of them obtained work permits.

Reuters correspondent Jeff Dastin is covering the story.

He said, "These large companies are pushing for illegal immigrants to have a path to residency because, first of all, these companies employ a number of these immigrants as workers. Some 72 per cent of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies employ Dreamers as they're called, and, also, they see it as just a very important issue both culturally and economically. Culturally in a sense that those people are an important part of American society and economically because they expect some, you know, billions of dollars to be lost in attempting to deport these people if DACA expires in March."

Action may come in December, when Congress must pass a spending bill to keep the U.S. government open. Democrats have considered insisting on help for the Dreamers as their price for providing votes to prevent a government shutdown.

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