Silicon Valley leaders took stances against Trump’s immigration executive order banning refugees from seven predominately Muslim nations and increasing restrictions on immigrants entering the United States.
Silicon Valley Speaks
Apple’s Tim Cook sent an internal email to employees expressing his concern over Trump’s action.
“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.”
Apple founder Steve Jobs’ father was a Syrian immigrant as detailed in Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella posted to LinkedIn:
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. We will continue to advocate on this important topic.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin, an immigrant from Russia, was pictured at the San Francisco airport on Sunday, where protesters gathered to rally against Trump’s order. Thousands protected in major airports around the country including Sea-Tac airport in Seattle and JFK in New York City.
From Twitter: @Vilavaite
Lyft Jumps on #BoycottUber
Uber was caught in the protest crossfire. Calls to boycott Uber and delete the app from devices spread across social media after reports that Uber was picking up passengers at JFK who were stranded when New York City taxi drivers went on strike in support of Muslims affected by Trump’s executive order.
Uber competitor Lyft jumped into the fray, taking advantage of the Uber criticisms. Lyft donated $1 million to the ACLU. The organization’s lawyers have worked nonstop since the immigration ban to free those detained in airports.
Google created a $4 million “crisis fund,” to help its employees and other people affected by Trump’s order who may have problems traveling abroad. It’s the largest humanitarian aid fund the company has established to date.
H-1B Workforce in Danger
Tech leaders are particularly incensed by Trump’s immigration policy. Many tech workers hold H-1B visas that allow 65,000 workers and another 20,000 graduate student workers to enter the U.S. every year.
There are concerns that the Trump administration may limit the visa program due to its “America first” vision and Trump’s repeated insistence on “buy American, hire American.”