Silicon Valley is making good on its pledge to fight President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
Some of the biggest names in technology — thought to include Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Apple, Facebook, and Uber — have composed a joint letter addressed to Trump to ask the president to reconsider the “blanket suspension.”
The letter also proposes that the Trump administration reach out to tech companies as a resource to develop "immigration policies that both support the work of American businesses and reflect American values."
The public challenge comes in response to the executive order Trump issued on Friday, which restricts the entry of refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, and indefinitely bans Syrian refugees altogether.
The travel ban immediately affected “hundreds” of Apple employees around the world, said Apple CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday, and has led to widespread denouncement from tech leaders, some of whom are immigrants. Cook told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that he has already been in talks with "very, very senior" White House officials to work on having the ban repealed.
A draft of the letter, posted on tech website Recode, stresses the importance of compassion, opportunity, and upholding American values.
"Dear President Trump,
Since the country’s birth, America has been the land of opportunity – welcoming newcomers and giving them the chance to build families, careers, and businesses in the United States. We are a nation made stronger by immigrants. As entrepreneurs and business leaders, our ability to grow our companies and create jobs depends on the contributions of immigrants from all backgrounds.
We share your goal of ensuring that our immigration system meets today’s security needs and keeps our country safe. We are concerned, however, that your recent executive order will affect many visa holders who work hard here in the United States and contribute to our country’s success. In a global economy, it is critical that we continue to attract the best and brightest from around the world. We welcome the changes your administration has made in recent days in how the Department of Homeland Security will implement the executive order, and we stand ready to help your administration identify other opportunities to ensure that our employees can travel with predictability and without undue delay.
Our nation’s compassion is a part of what makes it exceptional, and we are committed to helping your administration identify approaches for thorough screening without a blanket suspension of admissions under the U.S. Refugee Admissions program. While security and vetting procedures can and should always be subject to continuous evaluation and improvement, a blanket suspension is not the right approach.
Similarly, we stand ready to identify ways of helping to achieve your stated goal of bringing clarity to the future of the 750,000 Dreamers in this country under the protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in a way “that will make people happy and proud.” Removing these protections by barring renewals would effectively end the program and eliminate the ability for these Dreamers to work and live without the fear of deportation.
The business community shares your commitment to growing the American economy and expanding job creation across the country. We hire both thousands of Americans and some of the most talented people from abroad, who work together to help our companies succeed and expand our overall employment. As you contemplate changes to the nation’s complex and interconnected immigration policies, whether business and employment-based visas, refugees, or DACA, we hope that you will use us as a resource to help achieve immigration policies that both support the work of American businesses and reflect American values."