Tech Giants In Silicon Valley React To Trump’s Executive Ban

Tech Giants In Silicon Valley React To Trump’s Executive Ban

Posted on January 30, 2017

Tech giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft are among a few asking their employees traveling overseas, to immediately return to the United States after President Trump announced his Executive Ban on residents of seven countries.

The order that Trump signed has:

  1. An indefinite ban on Syrian refugees from entering the United States
  2. A temporary ban on all refugees/ nationals from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen

Only U.S. citizens from these countries are permitted to enter the United States. Even Green Card holders/ U.S. Permanent Residents but are citizens of those seven countries under the ban, will not be allowed into the U.S.

The reactions of tech companies were more forceful than any other industry. A majority of employees in the Silicon Valley are immigrants or is the son or daughter of immigrants. That list includes the iconic Steve Jobs Apple’s co-founder, who was born to a Syrian immigrant and later adopted by American parents. Mr. Trump’s order claimed “the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and would be suspended indefinitely.”

Most of the tech companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft have a global customer base. The ban could affect the free flow of talent/ trade. Tech employers also told their employees from the high-alert countries to return to the United States. The companies feared the employees would not be readmitted to the country because the president was expected to sign an executive order that would keep him out.

The Silicon Valley giants spoke out against Trump’s executive ban. Google said it was “concerned.” Apple said, “It is not a policy we support.” Amazon said only that it was committed to diversity. Microsoft became more forceful and its executives talked mostly about the virtues of immigration. Microsoft said the executive order is misguided and a fundamental step backwards and it would create collateral damage to the country’s reputation and values.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent a memo to all employees raising his concerns and revealing that more than 100 Google staff were directly affected. His words were quickly shared beyond the inboxes of the search giant. Google co-founder Sergey Brin briefly joined protesters at the airport.

The cause for concern is about skilled immigration, the lifeline that keeps Silicon Valley running. The U.S. does not create nearly enough software engineers and developers to sustain these enormous companies and so foreign brainpower does more than plug the skills gap. We should be doing whatever makes America the most competitive as possible in terms of creating future jobs, in terms of being at the bleeding edge of key industries.

Uber’s Travis Kalanick and Tesla’s Elon Musk, are both part of an advisory panel scheduled to meet with President Trump. Mr. Musk used Twitter to solicit concerns about the orders that he said he will raise with the President, though he urged his followers to read the policy for themselves.

Trump said it is necessary for extreme vetting to protect America. Uber’s Travis Kalanick, and Tesla’s Elon Musk, are both part of an advisory panel scheduled to meet with President Trump on Friday.

Mr. Musk used Twitter to solicit concerns about the orders he said he will raise with the President.  He urged his followers to read the policy for themselves firsthand and not rely on other sources.

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