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....
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.
In my conversations with officials here in Washington this week, I’ve made it clear that Apple believes deeply in the importance of immigration — both to our company and to our nation’s future. Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do.
I’ve heard from many of you who are deeply concerned about the executive order issued yesterday restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. I share your concerns. It is not a policy we support.
There are employees at Apple who are directly affected by yesterday’s immigration order. Our HR, Legal and Security teams are in contact with them, and Apple will do everything we can to support them. We’re providing resources on AppleWeb for anyone with questions or concerns about immigration policies. And we have reached out to the White House to explain the negative effect on our coworkers and our company.
As I’ve said many times, diversity makes our team stronger. And if there’s one thing I know about the people at Apple, it’s the depth of our empathy and support for one another. It’s as important now as it’s ever been, and it will not weaken one bit. I know I can count on all of you to make sure everyone at Apple feels welcome, respected and valued.
Apple is open. Open to everyone, no matter where they come from, which language they speak, who they love or how they worship. Our employees represent the finest talent in the world, and our team hails from every corner of the globe.
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, “We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now.”
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.