Tech industry vs immigration ban: Google protests, Amazon sues, Tim Cook pressures Washington officials


Even if you have lived under a rock for the past few days, you've still probably heard of President Trump's immigration ban — the executive order, which now blocks citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the U.S. for the next 3 months. Naturally, this move ruffled some feathers (putting it lightly) and caused quite the controversy.

Executives from large tech companies also jumped in the skirmish, speaking out against the immigration ban. Microsoft's Satya Nadella went on to say "As an immigrant and as a CEO, I’ve both experienced and seen the positive impact that immigration has on our company, for the country, and for the world" in a lengthy message opposing the president's order; Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg noted how both he and his wife are descended from immigrants and refugees and expressed hope that the Trump administration would come forth with a more balanced solution soon. Google's co-founder Sergey Brin and CEO Sundar Pichai even took part in a protest against the ban, both speaking out against the order.

My great grandparents came from Germany, Austria and Poland. Priscilla's parents were refugees from China and Vietnam....

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Friday, January 27, 2017

According to Mr. Pichai, 187 Google employees could be affected by the ban in one way or another. Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and other tech giants have their legal teams at the ready to assist affected employees to their ability.

Viber went on to offer free phone calls between the US and the seven affected countries via the Viber Out call feature.

To top their words, Amazon, Microsoft, and Expedia have declared that they support a suit led by the Washington state attorney general against President Trump's executive order.

Apple's Tim Cook first addressed company employees in a letter (press button below to read in full), then later gave a few interviews, saying that Apple believes in the importance of immigration and that it doesn't support the new policy. A lot of Apple employees and their families were affected by the ban, said Cook, and continued to say that the HR, Legal, and Security teams of the company are in contact with them.

When asked whether Apple is looking at some kind of legal pressure it could apply, as others have done, Cook replied that the company wants to be "constructive and productive". The CEO has spent his weekend meeting with officials at Washington, discussing the importance of immigrants to the tech industry and the country's economy.

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