Tech World Blasts 'Un-American' Travel Ban

Google donates $2M to fight it
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2017 12:34 PM CST
Tech World Blasts 'Un-American' Travel Ban
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during a press conference on Jan. 4, 2017.   (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

(Newser) – Google has joined a host of other tech companies condemning President Trump's Muslim travel ban, which affects employees across the tech world who come to the US through high-skilled immigration programs. CEO Sundar Pichai says the company will donate $2 million to four groups, including the ACLU and UNHCR, to fight the order, which affects at least 187 Google employees and their families. Employees are encouraged to match that figure, reports USA Today. Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who came to the US as a refugee, was also among protesters at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday. Others speaking out:

  • On Twitter, Elon Musk—a White House economic adviser—says the ban "is not the best way to address the country's challenges." He hopes to present Trump with better suggestions from the public on Friday, per Gizmodo.
  • In an email to employees, Apple CEO Tim Cook says the company "believes deeply in the importance of immigration—both to our company and to our nation's future," so the ban is "not a policy we support," reports Politico.

  • Microsoft says it's exploring legal options to help its 76 workers who are citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen, and have a US visa.
  • Box CEO Aaron Levie calls the order "disastrous" and nonsensical. "It's neither moral or humanitarian nor is it that logical if it's about protecting America," and there isn't "a single business that would benefit from this," he tells Inc. "This crosses a threshold."
  • Netflix CEO Reed Hastings agrees in a Facebook post, noting the "un-American" order is "will make America less safe through hatred and loss of allies."
Hostility between Trump and the tech world may be about to peak: Bloomberg reports the Trump administration has drafted an executive order that would force tech companies to hire American workers ahead of highly skilled foreign engineers, and pay more for foreign workers permitted to work in the US. (Read more Trump travel ban stories.)

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