WASHINGTON (CN) – Microsoft teamed up with Princeton University and one of its students Friday for a federal complaint over the rollback of a program that offers legal protections to qualifying young immigrants.
Represented by the firm Jenner & Block, Microsoft and Princeton’s lawsuit in Washington comes exactly two months after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Since its adoption by the Obama administration in 2012, DACA has made it possible for about 800,000 individuals who might otherwise be at risk of deportation to get driver’s licenses, work authorizations, and other state and local benefits.
Microsoft and Princeton say they are two such institutions that benefit greatly from DACA. While there are at least 45 DACA recipients working in some capacity for Microsoft and its subsidiary LinkedIn, Princeton says it has enrolled at least 21 so-called Dreamers since 2012.
Maria de la Cruz Perales Sanchez, who joined the suit as a co-plaintiff, is among the 15 beneficiaries currently enrolled in undergraduate studies at the New Jersey-based Ivy.
“Dreamers are particularly promising students and employees because of the significant barriers they have overcome in order to excel. As children, they were forced not only to navigate a new country, culture, and language, but also to do so knowing that at any moment, they might be taken into custody and sent far from their homes and lives here in the United States,” the complaint states. “To have achieved educational and career successes under such precarious circumstances suggests that Dreamers have grit and perseverance, can overcome obstacles, and will exceed expectations — all qualities that Princeton values in its students and Microsoft values in its employees.”
In addition to strengthening the communities at Microsoft and Princeton, according to the complaint, DACA recipients benefit society at large whether through service in the military or their pursuit of work in understaffed fields such as nursing and home health care.
“The Dreamers have held up their end of the bargain,” the complaint states. “But the same cannot be said of the United States.”
Microsoft and Princeton call the Trump administration’s rescission of DACA unconstitutional. Without DACA making it possible for students like Perales Sanchez to get financial aid and work on campus, Princeton for example will have to make up the difference so that she can continue her studies.
“Similarly, Microsoft will lose employees who fill critical positions in the company’s workforce and in whom the company has invested — leaving gaps that cannot easily be filled,” the complaint states.
Calling for an injunction and declaratory relief, Microsoft, Princeton and Perales Sanchez allege violations of the Administrative Procedure Act, the Declaratory Judgment Act, and the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
They are represented by Jenner & Block attorney Thomas Perrelli.
A representative for Homeland Security declined to comment on pending litigation.