On Tuesday, President Trump and his administration announced that they would end the DACA program which allows undocumented youth brought to the United States as children to work and receive protection from deportation. Some major tech and gaming corporations have spoken out about DACA, including Madden and Sims studio Electronic Arts.
A spokesperson for EA told Kotaku that “EA does have a small number of DACA employees. We are working closely with them and intend to help in any way that we can.” This was on the heels of statements on Tuesday from Apple and Microsoft, which both stated that they would provide legal counsel for affected employees. There are nearly 800,000 people in America who had been protected by the DACA program.
EA has also signed an open letter to President Trump in support of DACA and its recipients. The letter states, “Dreamers are vital to the future of our companies and our economy. With them, we grow and create jobs. They are part of why we will continue to have a global competitive advantage.” It additionally calls on Trump and members of Congress to approve legislation that will provide dreamers with a more permanent solution. Hundreds of companies, including tech giants such as Google and Amazon, have signed so far, though EA and Microsoft are among the only gaming companies on the list. Kotaku’s parent company Univision also signed support for the letter to Trump.
We reached out to several other big gaming companies about their stance on DACA and whether they had affected employees. A Sony rep referred us to the game industry’s lobbying group, the Entertainment Software Association or ESA, which stated: “Our nation’s competitiveness depends on creating opportunities for all, including giving today’s Dreamers a chance to be among tomorrow’s innovators. Federal legislation to preserve DACA honors our American values and is sound policy from both an economic and humanitarian perspective.”
Representatives from Ubisoft, Activision, and Nintendo did not comment.
In statements about DACA, many leaders and supporters have pointed out that people from all walks of life were helped by the program. That appears to include YouTubers like David Dobrik. Dobrik first rose to fame as a Vine star, and switched over to YouTube full-time once the platform was shut down. Dobrik was born in Slovakia, and moved to Chicago at a young age. Yesterday he tweeted, “I paid $400,000 in taxes last year and all I got was a free trip back to Slovakia #DefendDACA.” Other YouTubers have also joined in, including lifestyle YouTubers Daisy Marquez and Mawizaable, who posted a short documentary about undocumented youth on Monday.
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website, those enrolled in DACA can work until their permits expire. Those whose benefits expire between September 5th and March 8th, 2018, can apply for two-year renewals as long as they send in their request by October 5th. Congress has a six month window of time to either save the program or enact other immigration related legislation. If you are interested in supporting the DACA program, you can contact your state legislators.