Apple Weighs Legal Options Against President’s Travel Ban
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is reportedly considering joining the legal fight against the Trump administration’s executive order on immigration. The order suspends entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days. It also blocks citizens of 7 countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days and bans Syrian refugees for an indefinite amount of time. Trump administration officials have claimed that the travel restrictions are needed to keep the U.S. safe.
The day after the order was signed, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent an email to all Apple employees saying that the order “is not a policy we support.” Opposing the order was a simple decision for Apple. Cook says Apple would not exist if Steve Jobs’ Syrian immigrant father did not have the opportunity to come to the U.S. in 1952 to study. Apple sells its devices in more than 180 countries and territories.
Cook says numerous Apple employees have contacted him with “heart-wrenching stories” about how the ban will affect them personally. He said, “These are people that have friends and family. They’re co-workers. They’re taxpayers. They’re key parts of the community.”
The email also said that Apple’s HR, Legal and Security teams were contacting employees who were affected by the policy, estimated to number in the hundreds. Apple is also matching Apple employees’ donations to refugee relief funds at a 2-to-1 ratio.
Cook says the U.S.’ strength comes from its immigrant background. Cook said, “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. That’s what makes us special. We ought to pause and really think deeply through that.”
Amazon.com Inc. has submitted a declaration of support for the suit filed against the executive order by the Washington state attorney general. Microsoft and several other companies have already pledged to support Washington state’s legal actions. Cook declined to elaborate on the possibilities for legal options, saying that the company wants to be both “productive” and “constructive” in its response.
Cook met with Utah senator Orrin Hatch in Washington, D.C. last week to discuss the economy and tech industry. During his trip, he also had dinner with Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, one of President Trump’s closest advisers. That followed a private meeting with Mr. Trump last month.
Other tech companies are opposing the order in other ways. Airbnb is providing free housing to immigrants displaced by the order. More than 2,000 Google employees around the world plan to protest by staging a walkout.