By Salvador Rodriguez and Jeffrey Dastin
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Nearly two dozen major U.S. companies in technology and other industries are planning to launch a coalition to demand legislation that would allow young, illegal immigrants a path to permanent residency, according to documents seen by Reuters.
The Coalition for the American Dream intends to ask Congress to pass bipartisan legislation this year that would allow these immigrants, often referred to as “Dreamers,” to continue working in the United States, the documents said.
Alphabet Inc's Google, Microsoft Corp, Facebook Inc, Uber Technologies Inc, IBM Corp, Marriott International Inc and other top U.S. companies are listed as members, one of the documents shows.
Uber confirmed its membership, but the other companies did not immediately comment. It is possible that plans to launch the group could change.
"Uber joined the Coalition for the American Dream because we stand with the Dreamers," Uber spokesman Matthew Wing said in a statement. "We've also held town halls, provided legal support and launched an online Dreamer Resource Center for any of our drivers... We plan to support Dreamers as long they need help."
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg co-founded in 2013 a pro-immigration reform group called FWD.us. Following Trump’s decision, that group spearheaded sending a letter to Congress signed by 800 companies calling for legislation to protect Dreamers. Many of the companies that endorsed that letter are named as joining the new coalition.
“Dreamers are part of our society, defend our country, and support our economy,” said one of coalition documents, which is being shared by the group to recruit additional companies.
The push for this legislation comes after President Donald Trump’s September decision to allow the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to expire in March. That program, established by former President Barack Obama in 2012, allows approximately 900,000 illegal immigrants to obtain work permits.
Trump campaigned for president on a pledge to toughen immigration policies and build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.
“No politician wants to go home for the holidays and read stories about how this is going to be DACA recipients' last holidays in the U.S.,” said Todd Schulte, president of FWD.us, in an interview on Thursday. “You will see this continue to escalate until the end of the year.”
(Reporting by Salvador Rodriguez and Jeffrey Dastin; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Lisa Shumaker)