Google announced on Wednesday that it will donate nearly $250,000 to the United We Dream non-profit organization which is the largest immigrant youth-led community group in the country, to help pay the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) application fees for hundreds of individuals. The donation will be made through the tech company’s philanthropic branch, Google.org. DACA allows individuals who were brought into the United States illegally as children to be protected from deportation. The program was instituted in 2012 during President Barack Obama’s administration, but has faced years of uncertainly since he left office in 2017. Trump attempted to end the program throughout his presidency but failed to succeed.
Google joins a number of other large tech companies in their support of Dreamers and immigration reform, including Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon. Incoming President Joe Biden has committed to pursuing sweeping immigration reform that will make support DACA recipients and make it easier to obtain U.S. citizenship. As of 2017, there were over 700,000 individuals enrolled in the program and it costs $495 to apply for DACA, a fee that can’t be waived.
“For generations, talented immigrants have helped America drive technological breakthroughs and scientific advancements that have created millions of new jobs in new industries, enriching our culture and our economy,” Kent Walker, Google’s SVP of Global Affairs said in a statement. “We want to do our part, so Google.org is making a $250,000 grant to United We Dream to cover the DACA application fees of over 500 Dreamers.”
Walker also stated that Google has contributed over $35 million in support of immigrants and refugees worldwide and that this latest donation adds to the more than $1 million they have previously donated through the company’s employee giving program to support DACA and domestic immigration efforts specifically.
In 2017, President Donald Trump tried unsuccessfully to eliminate the DACA program, but then in December of 2020, a federal judge in Texas heard a case brought forth by seven states, challenging the legality of the program, which could put thousands of individuals who call the U.S. home at risk of being deported. Google asserts that this would be a huge loss for the American economy and says they are committed to helping in any way they can.
“We know this is only a temporary solution. We need legislation that not only protects Dreamers, but also delivers other much-needed reforms. 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 Kent.