Apple signs Silicon Valley’s open letter bashing Trump’s travel ban

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Donald Trump signing document
President Trump signing an executive order.
Photo: The White House/Facebook

Apple will join other tech companies, including Alphabet, Facebook and Uber, in penning a letter opposing President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban.

News of the letter comes shortly after an interview Apple CEO Tim Cook gave to The Wall Street Journal, in which he described the “heart-wrenching” messages he had received about Trump’s executive order, which potentially affects hundreds of Apple employees.

Check out the draft of the open letter to Trump below:

Silicon Valley’s open letter to President Trump

“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.”

Trump’s controversial executive order temporarily bars people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, as well as halting all immigration for 120 days. While previous U.S. presidents have also issued travel bans at various points in time, Trump’s is criticized for being particularly broad, and potentially fueling Islamophobia.

In addition to his recent interview with the WSJ, Cook has also noted that Apple employees affected by the ban will be able to draw on Apple’s expert HR, legal and security teams.

As with many in Silicon Valley, Apple has so far enjoyed a somewhat contentious relationship with Trump. Cook supported Hillary Clinton during her campaign, although not in his official capacity as Apple CEO, and was even considered as a possible running mate for her.

Trump has meanwhile attacked Apple for not aiding the FBI in fighting terrorism, and for producing its devices overseas, rather than in the United States. He is also reported to be working on a new executive order compelling companies to prioritize American workers over international ones.

Via: Re/code