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Microsoft and Princeton Sue Over End of DACA Program

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was an executive order under the Obama administration that allowed immigrants brought to the U.S. as children without legal status to work in the U.S. legally. That executive action has been rescinded by the current administration, leaving the lawful employment of these individuals in question. 

Microsoft has protested that action, claiming it will suffer significant harm. The tech company has asserted that following the passage of DACA, Microsoft looked to some of these individuals to fill gaps in the supply of U.S. workers. “Microsoft has spent considerable resources recruiting and developing these employees, amidst a severe shortage of skilled workers, and with the expectation that they would continue to be contributing members of its workforce.” It further argued that DACA workers possess language skills and other abilities that are essential to Microsoft but difficult to find. Princeton University joined in the lawsuit, contending that it will suffer harm if the DACA enrollees are not permitted to continue at the university.

Microsoft and Princeton are seeking declaratory relief that the DACA program is lawful and constitutional; and that its rescission is unlawful under the Administrative Protective Act as well as the Fifth Amendment right to due process and the equal protection clause. In addition, the entities are also seeking injunctive relief to prevent the Department of Homeland Security from taking steps to implement the rescission. Microsoft currently employees approximately 45 DACA recipients in positions such as software engineers, financial analysts, and other specialized positions. Princeton has enrolled at least 21 DACA persons since 2012.