Silicon Valley CEOs take sides against Trump's Muslim immigration ban

Though tech companies are nearly unanimous in their condemnation of the executive order, some are facing backlash for not going far enough.

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.

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.

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

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

Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb

Travis Kalanick, CEO, Uber

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

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.



Devin Wenig, CEO, eBay

Reed Hastings, CEO, Netflix

Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla, SpaceX

Tesla, SpaceX retweeted Musk's tweet.

Stewart Butterfield, CEO, Slack; co-founder, Flickr

Mark Benioff, CEO, Salesforce

Drew Houston, CEO, Dropbox

Chad Dickerson, CEO, Etsy

Max Levchin, co-founder, PayPal

Sam Altman, CEO, Y Combinator

Jeff Lawson, CEO and co-founder, Twilio

Aaron Levie, CEO, Box

Patrick Collison, CEO, Stripe

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