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Technology firms angered by Trump's immigration executive order


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Technology firms angered by Trump's immigration executive order

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Many in the US technology industry – which is a major employer of foreign workers – have been speaking out against President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order.

Airbnb said it would provide free housing to those stranded in other countries because they have not been allowed into the US.

Airbnb’s boss Brian Chesky said on Twitter: “Not allowing countries or refugees into America is not right and we must stand with those who are affected.”

Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick, who sits on Trump’s business advisory council, stepped up his criticism and pledged to compensate its drivers who were stuck overseas by the order.

“This ban will impact many innocent people – an issue that I will raise this coming Friday when I go to Washington for President Trump’s first business advisory group meeting,” Kalanick said.

Kalanick’s initial failure to condemn the White House move had led to the launching of a #DeleteUber campaign, in which users responded by posting screenshots of themselves deleting the Uber app or their Uber accounts.

Rival Lyft took advantage of the situation by putting out a strong statement against the immigration ban and announcing a $1 million (936,000 euros) donation to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Google’s CEO Indian-born US citizen Sundar Pichai set up a crisis fund for the more than 180 of its employees who are affected because they come from countries named in the order.

“We’re concerned about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that could create barriers to bringing great talent to the US,” Google said in a statement.

Microsoft also has an Indian-born now US citizen at the helm, Satya Nadella. The company said 76 of its employees were citizens of the seven countries in question and held US work visas.

Nadella spoke out about the positive impact of immigration.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg posted that he is “concerned” about the order and voiced support for immigrants saying the US authorities should be “focusing on people who actually pose a threat”.

Twitter’s Chief Executive Jack Dorsey joined the chorus saying “Twitter is built by immigrants of all religions. We stand for and with them, always”.

Dorsey had earlier promoted a video featuring a Syrian small-business owner at an event in Knoxviell , Tennessee.

Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn pointed out the business benefits of immigrants and said “All ethnicities should have access to opportunity – founding principle of US”.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook in a letter to employees called the executive order on immigration “not a policy we support” and promised to help affected employees.

He stressed that Apple would likely not exist without immigration given that co-founder Steve Jobs’ birth father Abdulfattah Jandalie was a graduate student who came to the United States from Syria to continue his studies.

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