Hot on the heels of Friday’s announcement of the executive order from president Trump regarding limiting immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations, top leaders from the tech world have come out expressing their disapproval of the order.
Apple CEO Tim Cook did not express a personal opinion, but made it very clear in a memo to Apple employees that the company did not support the policy.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai also sent a memo to his company’s staff. It was reported by Bloomberg, but Google declined to confirm or deny the veracity of the memo or the report. A spokesperson merely said that the company was “concerned about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families.”
So far, several tech company CEOs, including Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and others, have reacted in various forms to the executive order from Trump.
A federal court judge in Brooklyn on Saturday temporarily halted Trumps wide-sweeping order, citing a constitutional violation.
The move by Trump is being seen by the tech world as a hindrance to their normal operations, since all of these companies typically employ staff from all over the world, including muslim nations.
But the objection by tech leaders goes far beyond their own needs. The population of muslims in the United States is roughly around 1%, of which 63% are immigrants. Even at a conservative estimate that means about 1.5 to 2 million people. The executive order from Trump will have a massive implication on this community, as well as their families, if they are not allowed to travel overseas or the government decides to deport them.
As of 2015, there were 6.5 million tech employees in the United States. Extrapolating from the overall percentage of the population, there are more than 50,000 tech workers who could be affected by this executive order.
Tech leaders like Kalanick of Uber and others have vowed to bring up the matter at the first meeting of the advisory board – the Strategic and Policy Forum – but they are not likely to convince Trump to rescind. This is not a sudden decision by the president, but for the tech world, it’s their first tangible validation of their earlier apprehensions about Trump coming to power.
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