A little over a month ago, tech industry leaders met with then-President-elect Donald Trump to discuss ways of working together. Over the weekend, however, several top Silicon Valley executives criticized the White House for an executive order that temporarily bars people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.
The executive order signed by Trump on Friday set off a weekend of air travel chaos, large public protests and rapid responses by attorneys seeking to help green card holders and other travelers who were detained at airports across the country. It also created new challenges for a tech industry that's led by many immigrants and employs many professionals from overseas.
As of this morning, tech leaders who had made public statements critical of the executive order included Google CEO Sundar Pichai (pictured above), Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Lyft co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, both of whom are members of Trump's business advisory council, said they planned to raise the issue with other council members and discuss their concerns with the president.
Impact Is 'Real and Upsetting'
"It's painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues," Google's Pichai, who came to the U.S. from India, wrote in a memo to employees, according to a Bloomberg report. "We've always made our view on immigration issues known publicly and will continue to do so."
Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who was born in the former Soviet Union, went to San Francisco International Airport on Saturday to join other protestors against the travel ban.
"The Executive Order's humanitarian and economic impact is real and upsetting," Twitter's Dorsey said Saturday in a tweet. "We benefit from what refugees and immigrants bring to the U.S."
Dorsey was one of the few top tech executives not invited to last month's summit with Trump, reportedly because Trump, a frequent Twitter user, was angered that the site declined to allow an anti-Hillary Clinton emoji during the presidential campaign.
"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," Nadella wrote Saturday on LinkedIn, noting that Microsoft's president and chief legal officer Brad Smith had sent an email about the matter to all company employees. "We will continue to advocate on this important topic."
"My great grandparents came from Germany, Austria and Poland," Facebook's Zuckerberg said in a blog post on Friday, adding that his wife, Priscilla, was born to refugees from China and Vietnam. "The United States is a nation of immigrants, and we should be proud of that. Like many of you, I'm concerned about the impact of the recent executive orders signed by President Trump."
Uber Criticized for JFK Airport Services
While Kalanick sent an email to Uber employees on Saturday expressing opposition to the travel ban and support for drivers who might be affected by the order, his company found itself the target of a "DeleteUber" campaign on Twitter.
The action was launched by Twitter user Dan O'Sullivan after Uber announced Saturday that it would suspend surge pricing for trips to and from JFK International Airport. That evening, the New York City Taxi Workers Alliance had said that it would not offer airport rides to show support for refugees, immigrants and protestors.
Uber competitor Lyft, meanwhile, drew attention Sunday for its pledge to donate $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union over the next four years "to defend our constitution."
"Banning people of a particular faith or creed, race or identity, sexuality or ethnicity, from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft's and our nation's core values," Green and Zimmer wrote in a blog post. "We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community."
Image credit: Google CEO Sundar Pichai by Google; Artist's concept.
Posted: 2017-02-06 @ 8:08am PT
So why isn't Cisco on the list??
Posted: 2017-02-03 @ 8:59am PT
Quoting from the Daily Wire article "Here’s A List Of All The Muslim Countries That Ban Jews," and wondering where's the public outrage about bans by these countries:
Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates.
"Fake news infected the body politic this week as liberals lost their minds over President Trump’s falsely-labeled 'Muslim ban,' which bars refugees from seven high-risk Muslim majority countries (previously identified by President Obama's own Department of Homeland Security) for a period of 90 days. The so-called temporary 'ban,' issued via presidential executive order, was designed to assess the national security treat posed by ISIS militants infiltrating refugee populations. To be clear, Trump's executive order doesn’t even scratch the surface of banning all Muslims. That's a fiction peddled by social justice warriors intent on exploiting the public’s fears about fascism to galvanize support for their pet causes and 'non-profits.'
"The hypocrisy of anti-Trump protesters was recently highlighted by Tory members of UK parliament who finally put the spotlight on the rampant anti-Semitism of the Muslim world.
"In the light of the fact that most of the countries covered by the Trump ban have a total exclusion on the admission of Israeli citizens, shouldn't the protestors also be calling for that ban to be lifted?' asked former Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villier at a Q&A session with Prime Minister Theresa May."
Posted: 2017-01-31 @ 4:56pm PT
It's a temporary ban to help the US improve immigration laws that are already in effect. It's to keep our people safe. It's to buy some time while a better vetting process is put into place to ensure the US doesn't welcome with open arms potential terrorists who are radicalized and ready to kill our people at a moment's notice.
It's also very inconvenient for some, and unfair to other law-abiding individuals. Hopefully, they can work out the kinks in the system and come up with a better solution very soon.
This is certainly not the first inconvenient government policy to prevent radical Islamic extremists from killing our people.
Have you traveled lately? Isn't it bizarre and outrageous that we have to take off our shoes as we pass through security?
And why? Because a radicalized terrorist decided to put a bomb in his shoe once... and now, we all have to take off our shoes to get through airport security.
It's outrageous, but we do it willingly because we all would rather be safe than sorry.
This latest ban is most likely a temporary measure, until better vetting processes and precautions can be put in place. Certainly it's unfair to some and inconvenient for many. But still, I would rather be safe than sorry.