U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order that bars refuges and travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen—from entering the United States for at least 90 days didn’t sit well with Apple.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Cook said he’s heard “heart-wrenching stories” from company employees about how Trump’s executive order was affecting them. “These are people that have friends and family. They’re co-workers. They’re taxpayers. They’re key parts of the community,” he said.
Because Apple now sells its products in more than 180 countries and territories, it is more important than ever before that its staff “look like the world,” he continued.
Cook is now trying to convince some “very, very senior people in the White House” that challenging the ruling is important for Apple’s ability to recruit top talent from abroad.
“More than any country in the world, this country is strong because of our immigrant background and our capacity and ability as people to welcome people from all kinds of backgrounds,” Apple’s chief executive said just a day after Amazon submitted a declaration of support for a lawsuit.
“That’s what makes us special,” said Cook. “We ought to pause and really think deeply through that.” He also issued a company-wide memo to employees last week.
In the memo, obtained by The Verge, Cook explained why Apple does not support Trump’s executive orders to limit immigration from select countries to U.S.
It is “not a policy we support,” he wrote.
Here’s the full memo:
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.”
Aside from Apple, a bunch of well-known technology companies like Facebook, Google, Uber and many others are planning to, or are considering repealing Trump’s controversial executive order also referred to as the Muslim ban.
Cook and other tech CEOs last month participated in private meetings with the then-President-elect Trump. The Apple CEO also visited Washington, D.C. last week to dine with Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to the president.
Source: The Wall Street Journal