On social media and in emails to their staff, tech CEOs and companies are speaking out against President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration ban, and taking steps to protect their employees from being barred from entering the country.
On Friday, Trump signed an executive order that blocked citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen—from visiting the United States for at least 90 days. This includes people that currently have US visas and legal permits to live in the US.
The event sparked protests at airports across the country throughout the weekend as people were detained. On Saturday night, a New York federal judge issued a temporary stay for people who were apprehended. By Sunday morning, Trump’s position on the order had not swayed.
Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW. Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the world - a horrible mess!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2017
Though the ban stands to impact nearly any industry that does business internationally or relies on foreign workers, CEOs from the tech industry were among the first to speak out, among them Google’s Sundar Pichai, Apple’s Tim Cook and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
Emphasizing the international roots of America's tech industry, Salesforce chief digital evangelist Vala Afshar on Friday tweeted a list of companies that were founded by first- or second-generation immigrants, many of whom have denounced Trump’s executive order.
US tech companies founded by 1st/2nd generation immigrants ????— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) January 28, 2017
Out of this list, IBM, Oracle, Yahoo and AT&T are the only companies that have not yet released statements about the ban. Oracle CEO Safra Catz, who immigrated to the US when she was 6, was a member of Trump’s transition team, and IBM CEO and Chairwoman Ginni Rometty is a member of Trump’s economic advisory board.
Here are the tech CEOs and companies that have taken a stance on the immigration ban so far.
Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google
For generations, this country has been home to immigrants like Sanaz. Her story is playing out all over the country. Google is with you. https://t.co/mllnZ5gNDB— sundarpichai (@sundarpichai) January 29, 2017
In an email to staff on Friday, Pichai wrote that more than 100 staffers have been affected by the order, reported Bloomberg News. "It’s painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues," wrote Pichai. Pichai also urged any Google staff abroad to get back to the US as quickly as possible. Google retweeted Pichai’s message.
Here is a list of the tech CEOs who have spoken out so far.
Tim Cook, CEO, Apple
In an email sent to staff, Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote that Apple does not support Trump’s executive action on immigration, according to Business Insider. "Apple would not exist without immigration," wrote Cook, "let alone thrive and innovate the way we do." The biological father of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was an immigrant. Cook continued: "We have reached out to the White House to explain the negative effect on our coworkers and our company."
Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
In a Linkedin post on Saturday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote about an email that was sent out to all employees. In the email, Microsoft wrote that 76 employees are affected by the order and the company is working to provide support for these employees. Nadella himself is an immigrant from India. "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," wrote Nadella. "We will continue to advocate on this important topic."
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and co-founder, Facebook
Jack Dorsey, CEO and founder, Twitter; Square
The Executive Order's humanitarian and economic impact is real and upsetting. We benefit from what refugees and immigrants bring to the U.S. https://t.co/HdwVGzIECt— jack (@jack) January 28, 2017
Twitter is built by immigrants of all religions. We stand for and with them, always.— Twitter (@Twitter) January 29, 2017
Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb
Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US. Stayed tuned for more, contact me if urgent need for housing— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) January 29, 2017
Travis Kalanick, CEO, Uber
Our CEO's reaction to immigration order: "We'll compensate drivers impacted by the ban pro bono for next 3 months." https://t.co/meCT1ahEjH— Uber (@Uber) January 29, 2017
In an email sent to employees and a Facebook post, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wrote that the company would help compensate drivers affected by the order for the next three months. "This order has far broader implications as it also affects thousands of drivers who use Uber and come from the listed countries, many of whom take long breaks to go back home to see their extended family," wrote Kalanick. The CEO is a member of Trump’s economic advisory board, and writes that he will raise the issue this Friday during the group's first meeting.
Still, Uber elicited widespread criticism Saturday when it refused to suspend service to New York's John K. Kennedy Airport during a brief strike by city taxi drivers protesting the ban. The hashtag #DeleteUber quickly gained traction on Twitter. The hashtag #BoycottUber also trended on Twitter Friday morning after Kalanick said the company would work with Trump. #GrabYourWallet leader Shannon Coulter pointed out that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is a member of Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum.
Logan Green, CEO, Lyft
2/ Trump’s immigration ban is antithetical to both Lyft's and our nation's core values.— logangreen (@logangreen) January 29, 2017
In an email to Lyft users, the company also condemned the executive order, calling it "aniethical," and stated it would donate $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union. On Twitter, users saw Lyft’s positioning as a contrast to Uber’s response.
From an email sent today to all Amazon employees by Beth Galetti, Amazon VP of HR. pic.twitter.com/ezR5rK624D— John Paczkowski (@JohnPaczkowski) January 29, 2017
Devin Wenig, CEO, eBay
Reed Hastings, CEO, Netflix
Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla, SpaceX
The blanket entry ban on citizens from certain primarily Muslim countries is not the best way to address the country’s challenges— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 29, 2017
Tesla, SpaceX retweeted Musk's tweet.
Stewart Butterfield, CEO, Slack; co-founder, Flickr
"And he's just getting started." • It's still so hard to believe that this is real life. Nearly every action seems gratuitously … evil. https://t.co/ZcpdeUnlYf— Stewart Butterfield (@stewart) January 28, 2017
Mark Benioff, CEO, Salesforce
When we close our hearts & stop loving other people as ourselves (MK 12:31) we forget who we truly are---a light unto the nations. #noban— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) January 28, 2017
Drew Houston, CEO, Dropbox
Executive orders affecting world's most vulnerable are un-American. Dropbox embraces people from all countries and faiths— Drew Houston (@drewhouston) January 28, 2017
Chad Dickerson, CEO, Etsy
We are a nation of immigrants, and are stronger for it. I oppose excluding people from US based on their nationality or religion, period.— Chad Dickerson (@chaddickerson) January 28, 2017
Max Levchin, co-founder, PayPal
My family & I, & 1000s of Soviet Jews like us came to US as refugees in '91 running from regime that persecuted us because of who we were.— Max Levchin (@mlevchin) January 29, 2017
Sam Altman, CEO, Y Combinator
"This is what Democracy looks like" @ SFO protest pic.twitter.com/kUgCIBn0oq— Sam Altman (@sama) January 29, 2017
Jeff Lawson, CEO and co-founder, Twilio
I just published "The immigration ban is fundamentally UnAmerican" https://t.co/jCB4YXzU1q— Jeff Lawson (@jeffiel) January 28, 2017
Aaron Levie, CEO, Box
On every level -moral, humanitarian, economic, logical, etc.- this ban is wrong and is completely antithetical to the principles of America.— Aaron Levie (@levie) January 28, 2017
Patrick Collison, CEO, Stripe
Trump's stated immigration policies would be economically damaging and will in time be seen as morally wrong. https://t.co/HSjJXJdsOq— Patrick Collison (@patrickc) January 26, 2017