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19 Jun 2018

Brad Smith, Microsoft

Microsoft President Brad Smith urges Congress to enact fair bipartisan immigration solutions

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"This country needs to get immigration right," 19 June 2018

This is rapidly becoming a momentous week in the history of immigration for the United States. As the House of Representatives prepares to vote on two major bills, we need our elected officials to get things right. In part, we need Congress to address the DREAMers and those affected by the green card backlog. We need improved security at the border. And perhaps more than anything, we need Congress to remember the fundamental decency and humanitarian spirit that defines us as a people and a nation. In short, we need to take care of children... As much as any business in the country – and one that generates one of the nation’s leading export surpluses – Microsoft is a company of immigrants in a nation of immigrants... As is the case for the nation, we believe the diversity of our employees is one of our greatest strengths... Reflecting this perspective, for more than a decade we’ve made the protection of children in immigration proceedings one of Microsoft’s signature civic initiatives. In 2008 we co-founded one of the nation’s premier organizations focused on representing in immigration proceedings children that have been separated from their families, Kids in Need of Defense.

...One bill the House will vote upon – the Securing America’s Future Act (H.R. 4760) – plainly represents the wrong approach. It undermines the ability for unaccompanied children to express their need for protection and replaces child-oriented oversight and care with prolonged detention for children in adult facilities... The newly introduced bill – the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018 (H.R. 6136) – is better, but it needs to be improved in significant ways, including by requiring the administration to end the changes it instituted in April to separate children from their families at the border.