Several top United States-based companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, Tesla, Starbucks, Airbnb and Uber on Monday announced policies to make apparent their displeasure at United State President Donald Trump’s move to ban immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. A federal judge has stayed part of Trump’s executive order till February 21.
Google’s Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said the company has created a $2-million (approximately Rs 13 crore) fund in addition to their employees’ donations of the same amount to counter the restrictions. The funds will be sent to four organisations – the American Civil Liberties Union, Immigrant Resource Center, International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corp. “It’s painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues,” Bloomberg quoted Pichai as saying.
“We are concerned about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that create barriers to bringing great talent to the US,” a Google spokesperson said.
Starbucks has vowed to recruit 10,000 refugees across the globe during the next five years, while Airbnb Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky has offered free housing to people affected by the curbs. “Open doors brings all of US together. Closing doors further divides US. Let’s all find ways to connect people, not separate them,” Chesky said.
In a statement to his staffers, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company would “not exist without immigration”. In a post on LinedIn, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella said “As an immigrant and as a CEO, I have 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.”
The retroactive order from Trump applies to those with previously approved refugee applications, holders of valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas, and other individuals from the seven countries – Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen – who arrived in the immediate aftermath of the order. Individuals from these countries who are still abroad will not be able to seek asylum and refuge until the order is stayed or struck down.