Google Pledges to Assist Biden Administration Immigration Efforts

by Dennis Behreandt
January 13, 2021

Search-giant Google has pledged to back as-yet unspecified immigration policies and legislation expected from the Biden administration.

According to Reuters, the company also said “it would pay for the application fees of about 500 young immigrants seeking employment under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.”

Joe Biden has promised to propose immigration legislation immediately after taking office.

The statement positioning Google for support of Biden administration immigration policies comes from a blog post by Kent Walker, Google SVP of Global Affairs.

Referring to the COVID pandemic, Walker said Google believes “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. 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.”

As a result, Google has pledged a significant grant to the group United We Dream.

“We want to do our part, so is making a $250,000 grant to United We Dream to cover the DACA application fees of over 500 Dreamers,” Walker said. “This grant builds on over $35 million in support that and Google employees have contributed over the years to support immigrants and refugees worldwide, including more than $1 million from Googlers and specifically supporting DACA and domestic immigration efforts through employee giving campaigns led by HOLA (Google’s Latino Employee Resource Group).”

United We Dream says in its mission statement that it works to “create welcoming spaces for young people — regardless of immigration status — to support, engage, and empower them to make their voices heard and win!”

The organization claims that it reaches an online audience of over four million and has 400,000 members, operates five “statewide branches” and has “over 100 local groups across 28 states.”

In 2019, the organization, in a blog post, emphasized its role in supporting passage of H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act, in the House of Representatives.

The measure passed the House on June 4, 2019 by a margin of 237-187. Reporting upon passage in the House, at the time CBS News described the legislation as a “sweeping immigration bill” and “an ambitious expansion of a nearly two-decades-long legislative effort that would place millions of young undocumented immigrants and immigrants with temporary status on a pathway to U.S. citizenship.”

Celebrating its work supporting the measure, the organization described the moment of passage: “We filled the chamber with our cheers and claps — in an institution created to keep people of color, women, LGBTQ individuals OUT,” the organization wrote. “We made the House shake with our chant of ‘Si Se Puede!’”

In the same post, the organization called on “all Members of Congress to stop funding ICE and CBP and end their reign of terror. Let’s defund hate.”

The promised Biden administration immigration plan will likely mean increased federal funding for groups such as United We Dream. According to the plan outlined by the Biden campaign, “Humanitarian needs are best met through a network of organizations, such as faith-based shelters, non-governmental aid organizations, legal non-profits, and refugee assistance agencies working together. Biden will dramatically increase U.S. government resources to support migrants awaiting assessment of their asylum claims and to the organizations providing for their needs.

For its part, Google has pledged to help support passage of Biden administration immigration legislation.

“We need legislation that not only protects Dreamers, but also delivers other much-needed reforms,” said Welker. “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.”