The tech industry is retaliating against Trump’s mandate to ban immigrants and refugees from the Unites States.
On January 27 President Donald Trump signed an executive order whose ramifications have swept the world into ongoing consternation.
Friday’s decree disallows the entry of citizens from seven predominately Muslim countries into the United States.
For 90 days, citizens from Yemen, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, and Sudan will be denied access into a nation whose new president was inaugurated a mere ten days ago.
The order further bans the entry of refugees for 120 days, yet indefinitely bars access for Syrian refugees.
While chaos has infiltrated airports and the country’s immigration system, global political feedback is represented by outrage, and warnings that the executive order could only serve to incite anti-American sentiments.
Major business figures from Silicon Valley’s elite demonstrated their dissent by protesting with other members of the public over the weekend at San Francisco International Airport.
Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, joined other protestors in what he told The Verge was ‘a personal capacity’.
Brin, who was once a refugee himself, emigrated to the US in 1979 after escaping Jewish persecution in the Soviet Union.
Google’s workforce is made up of individuals whose time in the United States delves from an immigrant backstory.
CEO of the multinational technology behemoth, Sundar Pichai issued a company-wide email which voiced concerns over the executive order.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported his worry over the negative and far-reaching implications the President’s directive could have on 187 staff and their families:
“We’re upset 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”.
He demonstrated his advocacy of immigrants via Twitter by referencing the story of Sanaz Ahari, a director of product management at Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company.
A green card holder who was born in Tehran, she fears that the recent influx of bans will prohibit her from leaving her home in Seattle to visit her parents in Vancouver.
For generations, this country has been home to immigrants like Sanaz. Her story is playing out all over the country. Google is with you. https://t.co/mllnZ5gNDB
— sundarpichai (@sundarpichai) January 29, 2017
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was one of the first tech leaders to speak out against the vetting system imposed on US borders.
In a concise essay posted on Friday, he defended America’s history of its immigrant and refugee population:
“The United States is a nation of immigrants, and we should be proud of that . . . [W]e all benefit when the best and brightest from around the world can live, work and contribute here. I hope we find the courage and compassion to bring people together and make this world a better place for everyone.”
Other major tech brands in disagreement with Trump’s executive order include Airbnb, Dropbox, and Salesforce:
Not allowing countries or refugees into America is not right, and we must stand with those who are affected.
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) January 29, 2017
Executive orders affecting world’s most vulnerable are un-American. Dropbox embraces people from all countries and faiths
— Drew Houston (@drewhouston) January 28, 2017
US tech companies founded by 1st/2nd generation immigrants ??
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) January 28, 2017
CEOs from Apple, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Netflix, Microsoft, Amazon, and Etsy are also in consternation over the President’s plan to ostracize a demographic that is popularly perceived as an integral aspect of the nation’s identity.
Both criticism and praise will undoubtedly continue as the impacts of the executive order manifest themselves.
While parts of President Trump’s campaign and election were predicated on undocumented immigrants and refugees, the debate remains as to whether his recent actions classify him as an effective, or demagogic leader.