An increasing number of tech CEOs are speaking out against Trump's border policy

Getty/ Drew AngererApple CEO Tim Cook, pictured above at a tech meeting held at Trump Tower in the wake of the election, was among the growing number of tech CEOs criticising the Trump’s administrations border policy.
  • 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.

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.”

Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter, voiced his support for #KeepFamiliesTogether in a tweet

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.

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.

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.

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.”

Airbnb cofounders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk issued a joint statement on Twitter condemning the administration’s practices.

“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.”

In addition, Jeff Lawson, CEO and cofounder of Twilio, published a Medium post titled “Separating immigrant families isn’t just wrong, it’s a war crime.”

“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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