US tech industry condemns Trump's immigration ban

Washington
29 Jan 2017

Silicon Valley's top executives, including India-born CEOs Google's Sundar Pichai and Microsoft's Satya Nadella, condemned President Donald Trump's immigration ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, voicing concern that the move could directly hit their own staffers and stop bringing great talent to the US.

Executives from Microsoft, Google, Apple, Netflix, Tesla, Facebook, Uber and other top American companies slammed Trump's immigration order that sparked widespread protests across the US.

Trump yesterday signed a sweeping executive order to suspend the arrival of refugees and impose tough new controls on travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, as part of new measures to "keep radical Islamic terrorists" out of America.

 

Condemning the move, Nadella, in a post on LinkedIn, said "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,"

Microsoft President Brad Smith said as many as 76 Microsoft employees are affected by this new executive order.

"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. Satya has spoken of this importance on many occasions, not just to Microsoft but to himself personally. He has done so publicly as well as in the private meetings that he and I have attended with government leaders," Smith said.

"As a company, Microsoft believes in a strong and balanced high-skilled immigration system," he said.

Pichai also criticised Trump's controversial immigration order saying it will create "barriers" to bringing great talent to the US. The Internet search giant also ordered its travelling staff to return to America.

Pichai in an email to staff said the US ban on foreign nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries will hit nearly 200 Google employees.

"It is painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues. We re upset 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," Pichai said.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was one of the first to address the ban publicly.

"We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat. Expanding the focus of law enforcement beyond people who are real threats would make all Americans less safe by diverting resources...," he wrote on Facebook.

Zuckerberg called for keeping doors open to refugees and those who need help. "That's who we are. Had we turned away refugees a few decades ago, Priscilla's family wouldn't be here today," he said.

"My great grandparents came from Germany, Austria and Poland. Priscilla's parents were refugees from China and Vietnam. The United States is a nation of immigrants, and we should be proud of that," he asserted. (PTI)