US President Donald Trump has passed an executive order which halts immigration from seven Islamic nations including Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and Syria, for at least 90 days. For Syrian refugees, the ban is indefinite. Trump said that the order was to keep away radical Islamic terrorists.
This has caused a lot of furore not just among the general population, but also among technology companies.
Most of the top technology firms in the US are filled with staff who aren’t native US citizens. And logically enough, most leaders from across the technology industry spectrum have criticised this new temporary ban that Trump has issued.
Microsoft Corp, Alphabet Inc, Apple Inc, Facebook Inc and Uber Technologies and many other companies have expressed concern about the immigration order’s effects on their employees, according to the Wall Street Journal
Here is what the heads of top US tech companies have to say about this order.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, himself an immigrant told the Wall Street Journal that he had experienced and seen the positive impact that immigration has had on Microsoft as well as for the US and the world. He said that Microsoft Corp would continue being an advocate on the issue.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has sent an email to his employees assuring them that Apple has contacted the White House to explain the negative effects of such restrictions. Cook had also spoken about the importance of immigration, both to Apple and the US’s future, when he had visited Washington last week.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that the order affected close to 187 current Googlers. “We’re upset about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that could create barriers to bringing great talent to the US. It is painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues,” he said.
Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg put out a status on his Facebook pagestating that both his and his wife’s parents were immigrants to the US. “We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat. Expanding the focus of law enforcement beyond people who are real threats would make all Americans less safe by diverting resources, while millions of undocumented folks who don’t pose a threat will live in fear of deportation,” said Zuckerberg.
Digital storage firm Box’s CEO Aaron Levie said that the move was quite infuriating and morally wrong. He said that he was looking at ways to get personally involved and fight the order.
Amazon’s vice president for HR, Beth Galetti, said that a diverse workforce helps Amazon make better products for its customers. It has sent out an email to its staffers, recommending US based employees from countries in the ban-list, from travelling outside the US. It has also asked such employees to get in touch with the company if they are already outside the borders for travel or work.
Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, in a personal post on his Facebook page said, “Trump’s actions are hurting Netflix employees around the world, and are so un-American it pains us all. Worse, these actions will make America less safe (through hatred and loss of allies) rather than more safe. A very sad week, and more to come with the lives of over 600,000 Dreamers here in a America under imminent threat. It is time to link arms together to protect American values of freedom and opportunity.”
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has sent out an email to his employees titled, ‘Standing up for what’s right.’ Kalanick goes on to talk about the executive order issued by Trump and how it affects Uber drivers. He said that Uber will be reaching out to all its drivers who work in the US but go home for long breaks to be with family. These drivers affected by the order will be compensated for three months, pro bono, said Kalanick.
“While every government has their own immigration controls, allowing people from all around the world to come here and make America their home has largely been the U.S.’s policy since its founding. That means this ban will impact many innocent people—an issue that I will raise this coming Friday when I go to Washington for President Trump’s first business advisory group meeting,” he said.