Google Backs Biden Immigration Efforts, Offers to Cover Some Fees

January 14, 2021 Updated: January 14, 2021

Google said it backs President-elect Joe Biden’s promised immigration plans, and has offered to cover some of the application fees associated with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Kent Walker, senior vice president of global affairs, said the company is making a $250,000 grant that will cover fees to DACA for more than 500 immigrants.

“We believe it’s important that Dreamers have a chance to apply for protection under the program so that they can safeguard their status in the United States,” he wrote in a blog post. “But in the middle of a global pandemic that has led to economic hardship, especially for the many immigrants playing essential roles on the front lines, there is concern that many Dreamers cannot afford to pay the application fee.”

Dreamer is a term that people who support DACA use to refer to immigrants.

DACA, established by executive order by then-President Barack Obama in 2012, enabled some immigrants who arrived to the United States as children to be shielded from deportation. It also gave them the opportunity to obtain critical legal documents so they could be employed and attend school.

President Donald Trump tried to end the program but was blocked by courts. The Supreme Court ruled in June 2020 that Trump could rescind DACA but didn’t follow proper “procedure.” In the most recent court ruling, a federal judge in New York ordered the Trump administration to fully reinstate the program.

The matter is still being adjudicated.

Epoch Times Photo
President-elect Joe Biden speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., on Jan. 8, 2021. (Susan Walsh/AP Photo)

Biden has long been a proponent of expanded immigration and amnesty proposals. The same month of the Supreme Court ruling, he vowed that if he won office to make DACA permanent by sending a bill to Congress on the first day of his administration.

“I will introduce an immigration bill immediately and have it sent to the appropriate committees to begin movement,” Biden told reporters this month.

While Democrats will soon control both the House of the Representatives and the Senate, some Republicans support looser immigration laws, which makes it possible such a bill would pass Congress.

Google’s Walker said the company believes DACA 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,” he said.

Google’s new statement came after its YouTube service temporarily banned Trump, amid a wave of bans of the president by large technology companies.

Most tech company employees who contribute to political campaigns donate to Democrats, and movement between the companies and the Obama administration wasn’t uncommon; Jay Carney, Obama’s former chief of staff, is the chief of public policy at Amazon, while Zaid Zaid, an associate White House counsel, is a strategy official at Facebook.

Biden’s transition team added Zaid and several others who work for tech companies late last year, including Facebook’s Christopher Upperman and Google’s Deon Scott.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber