By Paresh Dave
OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google said it would support President-elect Joe Biden’s efforts to pass a new U.S. immigration law and would help cover application fees for immigrants seeking lawful work under a threatened government program.
Google said on Wednesday it would pay for the application fees of about 500 young immigrants seeking employment under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
It comes as Google and other big U.S. employers transition from four years of criticizing outgoing President Donald Trump for restricting immigration policy and undermining the companies‘ ability to hire foreign-born workers.
Biden said last week that he would propose unspecified immigration legislation to Congress “immediately” upon taking office on Jan. 20. Biden’s Democratic Party will control Congress, boosting the chance his ideas become law.
“We will support efforts by the new Congress and incoming Administration to pass comprehensive immigration reform that improves employment-based visa programs that enhance American competitiveness, gives greater assurance to immigrant workers and employers, and promotes better and more humane immigration processing and border security practices,” said Google senior vice president Kent Walker in a blog post.
Walker added Google’s philanthropic arm would donate $250,000 to the organization United We Dream, which helps immigrants unlawfully living in the United States after arriving as children secure work permits and avoid deportation using the deferred action program, or DACA.
A court ruling expected soon threatens to pause renewals and applications for those permits, Walker said. Recipients are often called “Dreamers.”
Google has in the past teamed with fellow large technology companies when making statements on immigration policy. But only one other tech company spoke out on the issue this week.
Uber Technologies Inc told Reuters it continued to support “Dreamers” and welcomed “the new Administration’s effort to reform our nation’s immigration system.”
(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)