Companies from around the globe are speaking out and taking action in the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive order that bans refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.
Several major Silicon Valley companies – like Google and Apple – as well as Starbucks, Uber and Twitter are among a list of major world business players condemning the travel ban and vowing to support those affected.
The order – signed by Trump last Friday – bars citizens from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States for a 90-day period. It also suspends the country’s refugee system for a period of 120 days; a move Trump says will help create strong borders.
Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW. Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the world – a horrible mess!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2017
Here are 10 companies that have responded to the travel ban since Friday.
On Sunday, chief executive Howard Schultz announced a commitment to hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years in the 75 countries where Starbucks operates. This move is a direct response to Trump’s ban, according to a statement by Schultz on the company’s website.
“I write to you today with deep concern, a heavy heart and resolute promise,” Schultz writes. “We are living in an unprecedented time, one in which we are witness to the conscience of our country, and the promise of the American Dream, being called into question.”
Schultz adds that that company “will neither stand by, nor stand silent, as the uncertainty around the new Administration’s actions grows with each passing day.”
The company says it will start the process in the U.S. and will initially focus on hiring people who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel.
It’s not yet clear when the hiring process will begin.
The tech giant announced Sunday it was committing $4 million ($2 million from the company, plus up to $2 million in matching employee donations) towards a crisis fund for four organizations: the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee and UNHCR, USA Today reports.
The announcement was written in a memo that was sent to Google employees by CEO Sundar Pichai.
This will be Google’s largest crisis campaign in the company’s history.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin also participated in a protest at the San Francisco airport.
According to CNN, Brin declined to comment but indicated he was there in a personal capacity.
Google cofounder Sergey Brin at SFO protest: "I'm here because I'm a refugee." (Photo from Matt Kang/Forbes) pic.twitter.com/GwhsSwDPLT
— Ryan Mac (@RMac18) January 29, 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook penned a memo to company employees Saturday denouncing the president’s move.
“Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do,” he wrote in the email obtained by Recode. “I’ve heard from many of you who are deeply concerned about the executive order issued yesterday restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. I share your concerns. It is not a policy we support.”
In his email, Cook points out that the human resources department; legal and security teams will be in contact with those who are directly affected by the ban.
“As I’ve said many times, diversity makes our team stronger,” the email continues. “And if there’s one thing I know about the people at Apple, it’s the depth of our empathy and support for one another. It’s as important now as it’s ever been, and it will not weaken one bit.”
He ends his message with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, “We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now.”
Much like Apple, Microsoft says it is already providing legal support to any of its employees who are directly affected by the ban, Tech Crunch reports.
Company CEO Satya Nadella also took to LinkedIn to share an email sent by president and chief legal officer Brad Smith.
“We believe that immigration laws can and should protect the public without sacrificing people’s freedom of expression or religion,” Smith writes. “And we believe in the importance of protecting legitimate and law-abiding refugees whose very lives may be at stake in immigration proceedings.”
Nadella herself then wrote as a response to the email, “As an immigrant and as a CEO, I’ve both experienced and seen the positive impact that immigration has on our company, for the country and for the world,” her LinkedIn post reads. “We will continue to advocate on this important topic.”
A question-and-answer session is scheduled for Microsoft employees Monday.
Uber and Lyft
Over the weekend, the ride sharing app came under fire when customers accused Uber of profiting off the ban and accused its CEO of collaborating with Trump, Al Jazeera says.
According to the news outlet, New York taxi drivers held a strike and refused to provide services to and from JFK airport on Saturday between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. in retaliation to the ban. However, customers claim Uber continued to provide ride services to the airport, angering users.
The hashtag #DeleteUber – which showed pictures of people deleting their Uber apps – was trending worldwide the following day.
This prompted the company to issue two separate statements.
The first, released Saturday, outlines Uber’s plans to help any of its employees affected by the ban.
This includes identifying drivers who have been affected by the ban, compensating them pro bono during the next three months “to help mitigate some of the financial stress and complications with support for their families and putting food on the table,” says CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick in a statement on the company’s website.
Kalanic goes on to say that he believes in “principles confrontation and just change” and has never shied away from doing what’s right.
Kalanic also states that he will be raising the issues Friday when he attends Trump’s first business advisory group meeting in Washington, which includes other business leaders like Elon Musk of Tesla, Indra Nooyi of Pepsi and Bob Iger of Disney, among others.
A follow-up statement released by Kalanic Sunday details additional plans of action the company will be taking, including creating a $3-million legal defense fund to help their affected drivers with immigration and translation services.
Rival ride hailing app Lyft was among those who issued a statement over the weekend on its website, announcing it will donate $1 million over the next four years to the ACLU.
“We created Lyft to be a model for the type of community we want our world to be: diverse, inclusive and safe,” co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green say in a statement. “Banning people of a particular faith or creed, race or identity, sexuality or ethnicity, from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft’s and our nation’s core values. We stand firmly against these action and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community.”
Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg penned a response to the ban on his Facebook page on the day the ban was announced.
For Zuckerberg, this issue was a personal one as his wife’s parents were refugees from China and Vietnam.
“The United States is a nation of immigrants and we should be proud of that,” Zuckerberg says. “We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat.”
While Zuckerberg condemns the order, he did give Trump credit on his decision to “work something out” for Dreamers, a group of immigrants who came to the U.S. by their parents at young ages.
“I hope we find the courage and compassion to bring people together and make this world a better place for everyone,” Zuckerberg says.
Twitter’s own official account did not shy away from posting on the social media platform Saturday about Trump’s decision.
“Twitter is built by immigrants of all religions,” the tweet reads. “We stand for and with them, always.”
Twitter is built by immigrants of all religions. We stand for and with them, always.
— Twitter (@Twitter) January 29, 2017
The tweet has received over 332,800 retweets and over 575,900 likes as of Monday afternoon.
Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey also tweeted from his personal account, calling the order upsetting.
The Executive Order's humanitarian and economic impact is real and upsetting. We benefit from what refugees and immigrants bring to the U.S. https://t.co/HdwVGzIECt
— jack (@jack) January 28, 2017
Netflix and Amazon
Like Zuckerberg, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings also turned to Facebook to post his thoughts.
“Trump’s actions are hurting Netflix employees around the world, and are so un-America it pains us all,” he writes. “Worse, these actions will make America less safe (through hatred and loss of allies) rather than more safe.”
However, Amazon was recently called out by The Verge as having the weakest response to Trump and his travel ban.
In a statement to the publication, Amazon does say it will help any employees who are dealing with the fallout of the government’s decision.
“From the very beginning, Amazon has been committed to equal rights, tolerance and diversity – and we always will be,” VP of Amazon’s human resources Beth Galetti wrote to The Verge. “We are committed to supporting all of our employees and anyone in their immediate family who may be impacted by this order, including assistance with legal counsel and support, and will continue to monitor any developments.”