- CEOs from tech companies including YouTube, Airbnb, Apple, Box, and Twilio have chosen to speak out against the Trump administration’s separation of immigrant families at the border.
- Microsoft, facing backlash for its continued cloud software contract with ICE, issued a statement as well.
An increasing number of tech CEOs are speaking out against the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the border.
YouTube CEO Susan called the family separations “heartbreaking,” and highlighted various activists groups that are helping effected families.
Regardless of your politics, it's heartbreaking to see what's happening to families at the border. Here are some ways you can help: https://t.co/IFVG6g8AKO
— Susan Wojcicki (@SusanWojcicki) June 19, 2018
Apple CEO Tim Cook called the policy “inhumane” and one that “needs to stop.”
“It’s heartbreaking to see the images and hear the sounds of the kids,” Cook said to the Irish Times. “Kids are the most vulnerable people in any society. I think that what’s happening is inhumane, it needs to stop. We’ve always felt everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. In this case, that’s not happening.”
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, said on Twitter that the situation is “gut-wrenching.”
The stories and images of families being separated at the border are gut-wrenching. Urging our government to work together to find a better, more humane way that is reflective of our values as a nation. #keepfamiliestogether
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) June 19, 2018
Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter, voiced his support for #KeepFamiliesTogether in a tweet
Do everything it takes to #KeepFamilesTogether.
What are the highest impact ways to help?
— jack (@jack) June 19, 2018
Jeremy Stoppelman, co-founder and CEO of Yelp, tweeted that he would be attending the #FamiliesBelongTogether march on June 30 in the Bay Area, and also encouraged making donations to the various organisations outlined in this Slate article.
I hope others from SF/Bay Area tech companies will join me at this march planned June 30. Please also consider donating to one of these great orgs assembled by @dahlialithwick & @mjschlanger: https://t.co/mSiMtgw9ga #FamiliesBelongTogether https://t.co/E5jXu4OSiv
— Jeremy Stoppelman (@jeremys) June 19, 2018
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, also took to Twitter to criticise the immigration policy, saying it is “immoral and plain wrong” to separate families at the border.
As a father, a citizen and an immigrant myself, the stories coming from our border break my heart. Families are the backbone of society. A policy that pulls them apart rather than building them up is immoral and just plain wrong. #KeepFamiliesTogether https://t.co/g2Cu40zvcX
— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) June 19, 2018
Lyft co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green issued a joint statement saying Lyft is taking action to help immigrant families, and named a few of the organisations they are supporting.
We are taking action to help the families and children that are being unjustly separated at the border by offering Lyft Relief Rides to 12 organizations (including @RAICESTEXAS, @TXCivilRights,@supportKIND) #KeepFamiliesTogether
— Logan Green (@logangreen) June 19, 2018
In addition, a Lyft spokesperson said the company will continue to support the ACLU and lobby for immigration efforts, and offer free rides to organisations dedicated to assisting immigrants.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and co-founder of Facebook, and Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, publicly donated to a fundraising campaign aimed at reuniting separated migrant families. The campaign has a goal of $US6 million, and as of Tuesday it has reached nearly $US5 million of that goal. Facebook did not disclose how much the two executives donated.
Also, in a public Facebook post, Zuckerberg announced that he donated to the Texas Civil Rights Project, adding that “we need to stop this policy right now.”
“Ripping children from the arms of their parents is heartless, cruel, immoral and counter to American values of belonging,” the statement reads. “The US government needs to stop this injustice and reunite these families. We are a better country than this.”
Denelle Dixon, chief operating officer of Mozilla, said in a statement that she is “horrified” by the events, and said “US Administration must stop this practice immediately.”
The United States once championed human rights around the world. If we want to keep our humanity and the world’s respect, the US Administration must stop this practice immediately. (2/2) https://t.co/PAmlW7rGMo
— Denelle Dixon (@DenelleDixon) June 19, 2018
“Intentionally separating families is objectively wrong, and we must fight it vigorously,” Lawson said in the post. “No matter what excuses are made, let’s call this what it is: collective punishment. The practice of punishing family members is not just morally offensive, it’s also a war crime under the Geneva Accord.”
At the end of his post, Lawson encouraged other CEOs to resist the urge to stay neutral and to speak out instead.
“As a tech leader and public CEO, I’m often advised to stay apolitical,” Lawson said. “But this isn’t politics, I believe this is a matter of objective right and wrong. Staying silent doesn’t feel like leadership to me. I encourage other leaders to consider the cost of silence.”
Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, posted a statement on Twitter saying “The act of separating families at the border is inhumane and un-American. We cannot let this continue. We need our government to address immigration in a compassionate and scalable way *now*.”
Good Eggs, an organic grocery delivery service, announced that for every order placed until Friday, the company will donate $US1 to Kids in Need of Defence (KIND). “We’re on a mission to help you feed your family well,” the company said in a marketing email. “But we know that being able to sit down and share a meal together is a privilege not every family has.”
Microsoft, after it came under fire for its continued cloud computing software contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), released a statement condemning the policy.
“Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border,” the statement said. We urge the administration to change its policy and Congress to pass legislation ensuring children are no longer separated from their families.”
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