Apple CEO Tim Cook hasn’t been shy about his support for DACA, the federal program, now under threat by the Trump administration, to legalize immigrants who came to the US illegally as children.
But, speaking at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum today (Sept. 20), he moved from defending DACA recipients—250 of whom Cook says are Apple employees—to not-so-obliquely attacking those who want the policy reversed.
“This is I think the biggest issue of our time,” he said. “This goes to the values of being American. This is: ‘Are we human? Are we acting in a track of morality?'”
In conversation on stage with billionaire philanthropist and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, Cook said that ending DACA “is like somebody coming to Mike and saying, ‘Mike, I just found out you’re not really a citizen here, you need to leave.'”
He continued, “This is not who we are as a country. I am personally shocked that there’s even a discussion here. It’s not a political thing; this is about basic human dignity and respect. It is that simple and straightforward.”
Cook also shared his own idea for a radical new immigration policy.
“If I were a country leader right now, my goal would be to monopolize the world’s talent. I want every smart person coming to my country because smart people create jobs,” he said. “So, I would have a very aggressive plan not just to let a few people in I would be recruiting.”