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Cisco CEO joins Apple, Amazon in backing 'Dreamers' immigration reform: 'This is the only place they've ever known'

Pamela Granda
·Producer
·2 min read
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Now that President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill has been signed into law and his infrastructure plans are taking shape, there's speculation about what the administration’s next big legislative push will be.

The politically fraught issue of immigration has been front and center of Washington's policy agenda for years. However, one aspect — the legalization of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children — has garnered the support of a growing chorus of American CEOs. 

Also known as "dreamers," this group of immigrants has champions among the business class, like Cisco's (CSCO) Chuck Robbins.

“When they're told to go home, they are home. This is the only place they've ever known, and we have many of them who work for us,” he told Yahoo Finance in a recent interview. Last month, Robbins penned an op-ed for USA Today on why Congress should give “Dreamers” the “legal status and certainty they deserve.”

From a business perspective, it’s “the right thing to do,” he told Yahoo Finance. “In general, people believe that this part of the immigration reform is the simplest one that we should get done.”

People hold signs as they take part in a rally for
People hold signs as they take part in a rally for "Justice Everywhere" to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling to disallow the rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, in San Diego, California, U.S., June 18, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Other high-profile business leaders include Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook, and Amazon’s (AMZN) head honcho, Jeff Bezos.

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Backing that idea is a recent survey from Pew Research that found 74% of Americans surveyed support granting legal status to immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

In mid-March, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship for the 2.5 million dreamers in the United States. The American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 passed 228-197, with the support of nine Republicans, but faces an uphill battle in the Senate.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 17: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks during a news conference about immigration outside the U.S. Capitol on March 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. Graham joined GOP members of the House to announce a plan to overhaul the immigration system, which would include giving citizenship to Dreamers, reform the asylum process and creating a 10-year path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 17: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks during a news conference about immigration outside the U.S. Capitol on March 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. Graham joined GOP members of the House to announce a plan to overhaul the immigration system, which would include giving citizenship to Dreamers, reform the asylum process and creating a 10-year path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Biden commended the House for passing the bill, calling it “a critical first step in reforming our immigration system.”

Pamela Granda is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

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