Sil­i­con Val­ley CEOs Protest Against Trump’s Mus­lim Ban


Silicon Valley companies have been taken aback by President Donald Trump’s latest ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries — including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia — resulting in many of the tech leaders to openly criticise the move.

Tech industry’s top honchos including Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and more have shared their thoughts, expressing discontent with the current administration’s decision.

Donald Trump signed the executive order stating the ban on immigrants from seven countries on Friday.

United States of America doesn’t produce enough skilled technical graduates to fill in the positions at multiple companies in Silicon Valley and this ban hasn’t been well received citing this as one of the causes.

In order to fill in the vacant jobs, tech companies employee skilled personnel from overseas, and the ban has already started affecting employees who’re currently working in the USA.

Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai criticised the ban stating that over 187 employees of the company were citizens of the banned countries and this would impact each one of them, same as it would impact the company.

“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. It is painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues,” Sundar Pichai wrote in an email to employees.

Iphonedigital | Flickr

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook boldly mentioned that Apple wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t for immigrant workers and that they don’t support this policy.

“There are employees at Apple who are directly affected by yesterday’s immigration order. As I’ve said many times, diversity makes our team stronger. Our employees represent the finest talent in the world, and our team hails from every corner of the globe,” said Tim Cook in an email to his employees.

The future of tech companies is at stake if Trump continues banning workforce from overseas as there isn’t enough skilled minds produced in USA which can compensate for the number of workers required by the ever-growing tech industry.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg voiced his concern in a Facebook post on Friday, explaining that his own ancestry, as well as that of his wife, are not from USA — “a nation of immigrants”.

“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, while millions of undocumented folks who don’t pose a threat will live in fear of deportation,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted saying,”The Executive Order’s humanitarian and economic impact is real and upsetting. We benefit from what refugees and immigrants bring to the U.S.,” and Twitter’s official handle tweeted,”Twitter is built by immigrants of all religions. We stand for and with them, always”.

Airbnb is now offering a free stay to anyone who is affected by the ban and stuck outside of the US, “Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US,” tweeted Brian Chesky, CEO and Co-Founder of Airbnb.

Tesla chief, Elon Musk, who also happens to be a part of President Trump’s economic advisory group — formed in December 2016 — wasn’t impressed at all by the latest executive order by President Trump.

OnInnovation | Flickr

“The blanket entry ban on citizens from certain primarily Muslim countries is not the best way to address the country’s challenges. Many people negatively affected by this policy are strong supporters of the US. They’ve done right, not wrong & don’t deserve to be rejected,” Musk posted on his Twitter.

New York Times reported on Sunday that members of Trump’s own cabinet were unaware that such an executive order was in the pipeline of the current administration and took many in the White House with surprise too.

A Federal judge has granted a temporary stay on the deportation of any immigrant banned from entry under President Trump’s executive order, but this battle isn’t over yet.

While such bans are unwelcome, especially in a country which comprises a majority of its workforce via immigrants, the full impact of this order will be seen in the weeks to come. Protests against the ban are in full swing in the country and people worldwide have also taken notice.

Putting a ban on people based on their religion is outright foolhardy. The ban will not only negatively impact the residents of the banned nations but can lead towards catastrophic global relations in the future.

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Bike enthusiast, traveller, ManUtd follower, army brat, word-smith; Delhi University, Asian College of Journalism, Cardiff University alumnus; a journalist breathing tech these days.