U.S. Chamber of Commerce, other business groups oppose Trump on 'Dreamers'

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By Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, other business groups and companies including Amazon.com Inc (O:) and Alphabet Inc’s Google (O:) have filed a brief at the U.S. Supreme Court opposing President Donald Trump’s effort to end a program that protects from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought into the United States illegally as children.

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Nov. 12 over Trump’s 2017 plan to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama in 2012. Trump’s move to rescind DACA was blocked by lower courts. The immigrants protected under the program often are called “Dreamers.”

In the brief filed on Thursday, the business groups said Trump’s move would harm individual companies that employ DACA recipients and the U.S. economy as a whole.

The program currently shields about 700,000 immigrants, mostly Hispanic young adults, from deportation and provides them work permits, though not a path to citizenship.

Apple (NASDAQ:) CEO Tim Cook filed a similar brief earlier in the week.

A Supreme Court decision is due by the end of June, in the thick of next year’s presidential race in which Trump is seeking re-election. Democratic presidential candidates including Joe Biden have pledged actions to protect the Dreamers and offer them citizenship.

Trump, Republicans in Congress and Democratic lawmakers have been unable to hammer out a legislative deal to protect “Dreamers.” The Trump administration has argued that Obama exceeded his constitutional powers when he bypassed Congress and created DACA.

The legal question before the Supreme Court is whether the administration properly followed a federal law called the Administrative Procedure Act in Trump’s plan to end DACA.

Under Trump’s September 2017 decision to rescind DACA, protections for Dreamers were to have begun phasing out in March 2018. But lower courts directed the administration to continue processing renewals of existing DACA applications while the litigation was resolved.

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