CEO Tim Cook says Apple is pushing extremely hard on DACA: ‘I am personally shocked that there is even a discussion of this’

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Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Wednesday that immigration is the “biggest issue of our time,” and that his company is pushing extremely hard on immigration reform.

In particular, Cook defended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides temporary protection and work authorization for young immigrants, brought to the U.S. as children, who are living in the country illegally.

Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security said it would phase out the program. President Donald Trump has said that there would be no action over the next six months, but that it was Congress’ job to legalize the program.

“This is unacceptable,” Cook said in an interview at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum. “This is not who we are as a country. I am personally shocked that there’s even a discussion on this. It’s not a political thing, at least I don’t see it that way at all. It’s about basic human decency and respect.”

Cook has said that Apple will work with Congress on behalf of its employees that benefit from the DACA program — people that many refer to as “dreamers.”

“I wish everyone in America loved America this much,” Cook said of the Dreamers that work at Apple.

“If I were a world leader, my goal would be to monopolize the world’s talent,” Cook added. “Smart people create jobs. … I’d have a very aggressive plan, not to just let a few people in, but I’d be recruiting.”

Michael Bloomberg, CEO of Bloomberg L.P. and former mayor of New York City, said that Bloomberg employees that are immigrants in the U.S. have been asking to be transferred to foreign offices in light of recent immigration policy proposals.

“Words have consequences,” Bloomberg said. “We need a constant source of new blood … they will go someplace else that’s more welcoming.”

Bloomberg compared the end of DACA to a bank robbery: If a woman walked into a bank holding a baby, pulled out a gun and held up a bank, we wouldn’t prosecute the infant, Bloomberg said.

Critics of DACA have argued that it signals the U.S. is willing to grant amnesty to those that immigrate illegally, which could feed into the larger issue of border control. But Cook said he believes it’s an issue of being “human,” recalling a trip to historic immigration center Ellis Island in New York.

‘You can feel the people in that room,” Cook said of Ellis Island. “You can feel the anxiety and the hope. That’s where we all started. … as children of immigrants.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook defends DACA immigration program from CNBC.