Tech Companies Resist Trump’s Immigration Ban

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Alice Yang, Staff Writer

President Trump’s controversial travel and immigration ban from Muslim majority nations incited a political stand from numerous tech companies. Apple, Facebook, Google, Netflix, and Twitter are just a few out of the many who have made their opinions known.

A wide array of the population is affected by President Trump’s order, which halts people hailing from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States for ninety days. These countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Additionally, it suspends all refugees for 120 days, not including those from Syria, who are banned indefinitely. The order also includes that officials may give recommendations for indefinite bans, suggesting that other countries could be added to the list as well.

Among those who are affected by Trump’s order, technology giants suffered a blow because the ban affects foreign-born immigrants with legal permanent residence status in the U.S. According to officials, about 250,000 Muslims are living in the Bay Area, many of whom are immigrants working at companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Facebook.

The CEOs of many tech firms, many of whom are immigrants, chose to speak out against Trump’s ban. Among those is Satya Nadella, CEO of the Microsoft company. As an immigrant himself, he claims that he has seen the positive impacts that immigration has on his company and on the U.S. economy. Twitter also joined the opposition when their CEO Jack Dorsey posited that the economic impact of the immigration ban is “real and upsetting.”

The tech giants believe that President Trump’s order would destroy America’s brand as a “beacon for talent,” and therefore would have a negative economic impact. They argue that immigrants are often the core of innovations because people who choose to leave everything behind and come to a completely unfamiliar environment to start anew are “endowed with drive, creativity, determination — and just plain guts.”

Taking it one step further, America’s biggest tech firms initiated a legal battle against President Trump’s travel ban. A total of 127 companies filed court papers declaring that the executive order “violates the immigration laws and the Constitution.” Almost all of the companies who signed on in support are technology-related. The few exceptions are all founded by immigrants, some directly affected by the ban.

President Trump’s hostility towards Muslim refugees and immigrants raised tensions between the White House and Silicon Valley. During the presidential election, much of the technology industry had supported Hillary Clinton. Now that an appeals court ruled against Trump’s executive action on immigration, his administration is weighing its opinions with the possibility of writing a new order.

If Trump’s administration does decide to take action, will it provoke another response among the tech giants? Only time will tell.