Tech Companies condemn Trump’s travel ban…some vow to help fund law suits against the US president

Read the report from CNN below…

Four of America’s biggest tech companies warned their
employees about the ban. And leaders throughout the industry, where
foreign-born entrepreneurs are central to its success, condemned the
decree.

The executive order bans about 134 million people from entering the U.S.

Google (GOOGL, Tech30)
sent out a memo to its employees urging anyone with a visa or green
card from one of the banned countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia,
Sudan, Syria and Yemen — to cancel any travel plans.
“Please do not travel outside of the U.S. until the ban is lifted. While
the entry restriction is currently only in place for 90 days, it could
be extended with little or no warning,” the memo, which was reviewed by
CNN, reads.
The company issued a statement Saturday,
saying it’s “concerned 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.” Google also
vowed to “continue to make our views on these issues known to leaders in
Washington and elsewhere.”

On Saturday night, Google
cofounder Sergey Brin was at San Francisco International Airport with
crowds of protesters. He declined to comment and told CNN that he was
there in a personal capacity, but is himself an immigrant from Russia.

Apple (AAPL, Tech30)
CEO Tim Cook issued a letter reacting to what he called “deep concerns”
among employees. He assured them Apple does not support Trump’s policy.
“Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and
innovate the way we do,” he wrote in an email obtained by CNN.
“There are employees at Apple who are directly affected by yesterday’s
immigration order. Our HR, Legal and Security teams are in contact with
them, and Apple will do everything we can to support them,” Cook’s email
reads. “Apple is open. Open to everyone, no matter where they come
from, which language they speak, who they love or how they worship.”
Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30)
— which is run by Satya Nadella, who immigrated to the U.S. from India
— told employees Saturday that the company is committed to providing
“legal advice and assistance” to its 76 employees that are citizens of
the affected countries.
“We appreciate that immigration issues are important to a
great many people across Microsoft at a principled and even personal
level, regardless of whether they personally are immigrants,” Microsoft
executive Brad Smith said in an email to employees, which was shared by Nadella on LinkedIn.
The email also said the company will advocate for “protecting
legitimate and law-abiding refugees whose very lives may be at stake in
immigration proceedings.” Nadella has previously spoken out on the issue.
Amazon (AMZN, Tech30)
also sent an email to employees about the potential implications of
Trump’s order and offered legal assistance to employees who might be
impacted.
“As we’ve grown the company, we’ve worked
hard to attract talented people from all over the world, and we believe
this is one of the things that makes Amazon great — a diverse workforce
helps us build better products for customers,” according to the email
sent by Beth Galetti, Amazon’s vice president of HR.
Immigrants and their families have a long history of starting and running American businesses.
A 2011 report from the Partnership for a New American Economy found
that about 45% of high-tech companies in the Fortune 500 were founded by
immigrants or children of immigrants.
That list
includes highly influential founders from some of the banned countries:
Apple founder Steve Jobs was the child of Syrian immigrants, eBay
founder Pierre Omidyar is the child of Iranian parents, and Oracle’s Bob
Miner is also Iranian.
Omidyar on Saturday called Trump’s decision “simple bigotry.”

In a note Saturday evening, eBay advised its employees from
the banned nations not to travel. “Fortunately, to our knowledge, none
of them are currently traveling outside of the U.S.” It said that it was
still gathering information about the possible impact on family members
of those employees.
In a tweet on Saturday, Square CEO Jack Dorsey said the ban’s “humanitarian and economic impact is real and upsetting.”
 
When asked by CNN about the impact of immigration
restrictions on innovation, Dorsey said: “We benefit from immigration.
We benefit from diversity. We benefit from including more people because
we see different perspectives.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook (FB, Tech30) Friday, citing the importance of immigration in his own life’s story.

“We should also keep our doors open to refugees and those
who need help,” Zuckerberg wrote. “That’s who we are. Had we turned away
refugees a few decades ago, Priscilla’s family wouldn’t be here today.”

Facebook said in a statement Saturday that it’s
“assessing the impact [of the ban] on our workforce and determining how
best to protect our people and their families from any adverse effects.”

In a blog post,
Y Combinator President Sam Altman called on the tech community to rally
against Trump — calling the president’s actions “a first step toward a
further reduction in rights.”
“This is not just a Muslim ban. This is a breach of America’s contract with all the immigrants in the nation,” Altman wrote.
He called on people to “not demonize Trump voters,” but urged leaders
in the community to publicly denounce Trump’s actions “at a minimum.”
And, he said, “employees should push their companies to figure out what
actions they can take.”

Executives from LinkedIn, Yelp, Foursquare and Salesforce lambasted Trump’s decision via Twitter on Saturday.

The ban sparked fear among Muslims in the industry.
“I’m horrified. As an immigrant who came through the green card
process, the idea that it could be invalidated and you could be stranded
away from home is truly shocking,” an employee of one major tech firm
said. “I’m a citizen now, but I have a lot of friends who aren’t and who
are worried. Even if you’re not from one of those countries, if you’re
Muslim, who knows what could be next?”

Some in tech also vowed to help fund the suit against Trump and support refugees who were in Limbo.
Shark Tank star and tech investor Chris Sacca promised to match up to $50,000 worth of donations to the ACLU.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky posted on Facebook that his company
would house any refugees who were stuck in limbo because of the
executive order.
“Airbnb is providing free housing to
refugees and anyone else who needs it in the event they are denied the
ability to board a U.S.-bound flight and are not in your city/country of
residence,” he posted. He included his email address for anyone who
needed assistance.
Box CEO Aaron Levie also promised
to donate, and in an email sent to CNNMoney Saturday, Levie also called
the executive order “immoral.”

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