After US President, Donald Trump, signed an executive order on Friday barring immigration and travel to the States from seven countries, tech industry executives began criticizing the new regulation. From Apple to Google, Facebook and Microsoft, the message was pretty much the same: “Limiting immigration hurts employees and innovation”. For those who don’t know, most tech companies hire talent from other countries and this ban could mean that the employees were no longer eligible to work for the US-based companies. The ban, which has been temporarily halted by a judge, affects immigrants and travelers from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya.
Apple’s Tim Cook said, “Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do…it (referring to the order) is not a policy we support.” He also promised the company would do what it can to help staff affected by the order.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, noted in a Facebook post that he is “concerned about the impact of the recent executive orders signed by President Trump” though he also added that he was “glad” that Trump was willing “to ‘work something out’ for Dreamers” and that the President “believes our country should continue to benefit from ‘people of great talent coming into the country.’”
Facebook added in a statement, “We are assessing the impact on our workforce and determining how best to protect our people and their families from any adverse effects.”
Mozilla CEO, Chris Beard, said that he believes that “The immigration ban imposed by Friday’s executive order is overly broad and its implementation is highly disruptive to fostering a culture of innovation and economic growth.” He added the he believes that “The ban will have an unnecessary negative impact to the health and safety of those affected and their families, not to mention rejecting refugees fleeing persecution, terror and war.”
“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 Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella.
Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, said in a tweet, “The Executive Order’s humanitarian and economic impact is real and upsetting. We benefit from what refugees and immigrants bring to the U.S.” Twitter went ahead to tweet from their official account stating that “Twitter is built by immigrants of all religions. We stand for and with them, always.”
Airbnb CEO, Brian Chesky, tweeted that Airbnb will offer free housing to refugees and others who can’t enter the U.S. because of the ban.
According to Cnet, news spread that border patrol agents were almost immediately implementing the ban, raising concerns that tech workers who have green cards but otherwise aren’t yet US citizens might not be able to return from overseas vacations or business trips.
To show the seriousness of the matter, Kellyanne Conway, a Trump administration spokeswoman, tweeted, “Get used to it…Promises made, promises kept….and he’s just getting started.”
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) January 28, 2017