Tim Cook: Trump’s immigration freeze will hurt Apple

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Donald Trump speaks to supporters at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Arizona.
Tim Cook says that there are Apple employees directly affected by the order.
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr CC

In a message sent to Apple employees, Tim Cook notes that he is concerned about President Donald Trump’s recent executive order limiting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Cook said Apple employees are affected by the policy, and that they are going to be able to draw on the expertise of the company’s HR, legal and security teams.

Check out the note below:

“Team,

In my conversations with officials here in Washington this week, I’ve made it clear that Apple believes deeply in the importance of immigration — both to our company and to our nation’s future. Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do.

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.

There are employees at Apple who are directly affected by yesterday’s immigration order. Our HR, Legal and Security teams are in contact with them, and Apple will do everything we can to support them. We’re providing resources on AppleWeb for anyone with questions or concerns about immigration policies. And we have reached out to the White House to explain the negative effect on our coworkers and our company.

As I’ve said many times, diversity makes our team stronger. 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. I know I can count on all of you to make sure everyone at Apple feels welcome, respected and valued.

Apple is open. Open to everyone, no matter where they come from, which language they speak, who they love or how they worship. Our employees represent the finest talent in the world, and our team hails from every corner of the globe.

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, ‘We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now.’

Tim”

Cook has thus far had a mixed relationship with Trump. During the presidential campaign, Trump attacked Apple for not manufacturing iPhones in the United States, and called for a boycott of the company related to Apple’s refusal to create an iOS security backdoor to aid the FBI.

Since then, however, Trump has claimed he has had positive conversations with Apple, and has spoken with Cook several times on the phone about moving factories to America.

Cook’s view of Trump’s immigration policy certainly isn’t out of place for Apple’s CEO, who has been outspoken about social issues throughout his tenure running Apple. At one time, Cook — a vocal opponent of discriminatory behavior — was considered as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton.

Cook isn’t necessarily wrong that Trump’s executive order could hurt Apple, though. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Trump is next reportedly working on an executive order that would mean companies have to prioritize American workers over international ones. Given that Apple (as with many tech companies) recruits from around the world, this could wind up being a contentious issue.

“Our country’s immigration policies should be designed and implemented to serve, first and foremost, the U.S. national interest,” the draft proposal reads. “Visa programs for foreign workers … should be administered in a manner that protects the civil rights of American workers and current lawful residents, and that prioritizes the protection of American workers — our forgotten working people — and the jobs they hold.”

Source: The Verge