Report: Tech Giants To Pen Joint Letter To Trump Opposing Travel Ban

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Some of the biggest technology companies in the world – including Google, Uber, Apple, Facebook – are planning to send President Donald Trump a letter expressing their opposition to the travel ban, the online news site Recode reports.

According to a copy of the letter obtained by Recode, it reads, in part, “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.”

The letter goes on to say that “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.”

There was no word on when the letter would be sent to the president.

In recent days, several prominent CEOs have already spoken out against the temporary immigration ban. calling it un-American and bad for business.

The heads of Apple, Ford and Goldman Sachs said that they don’t support the executive order the president signed last week, which bans immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. Google said it is donating cash to organizations that support immigrants. Other companies said they will help employees affected by the ban or, in the case of Starbucks, hire refugees.

Trump said the executive order, signed Friday, was necessary to stop “radical Islamic terrorists” from coming to the U.S. It included a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. by citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen, and a 120-day suspension of the U.S. refugee program.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees in a memo obtained by The Associated Press that his company does not support the order. “Apple would not exist without immigration,” Cook said.

CEOs from e-commerce companies Amazon.com Inc., eBay Inc. and Etsy Inc. also said they did not support Trump’s order, as did the head of video-streaming company Netflix Inc.

Coca-Cola Co. CEO Muhtar Kent said the soda maker was against the travel ban, and General Electric Co. CEO Jeff Immelt said the industrial conglomerate would make its “voice heard” with the new administration and Congress.

Ford Motor Co. said it does not support the policy “or any other that goes against our values as a company,” according to a letter signed by the automaker’s CEO Mark Fields and Executive Chairman Bill Ford. General Motors Co. sent a note to employees saying it will support any who can’t return to the U.S. because of the ban. But other automakers, Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co., were silent.

The auto industry, a frequent target of Trump’s ire for moving jobs overseas, is walking a fine line, trying to avoid punishing tariffs and hoping Trump gives them some relief on corporate taxes and fuel economy standards.

And Goldman Sachs Group Inc., whose former employees are some of Trump’s most trusted advisers, also pushed back.

“This is not a policy we support,” said the bank’s CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, in a voicemail to employees.

Drugmaker Merck & Co. said it will offer legal advice and other assistance to its employees, as did furniture seller Ikea.

Uber, the ride-hailing app, said it will offer financial help to employees affected by the ban. The company’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, is part of Trump’s economic advisory group and said he will bring up the issue with the president in Washington.

Uber, however, already faced backlash on Saturday after Twitter users criticized the company and encouraged riders to delete the app for charging less than it could at JFK Airport in New York as taxi drivers had halted service for an hour to protest the ban. The move was perceived by some as an effort to profit off the protests as more passengers would need to seek alternatives to cabs.

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. “UnAmerican”? Like parting $2 Trillion in profits in Ireland to avoid US taxes? Got it

  2. You know what??? I DON’T CARE!!! Why is CBS2 even covering this??? What about all the good things President Trump has done in the first 2 weeks of his presidency. You didn’t treat Obama this way in the first 2 weeks of his presidency. Pres. Trump is correct the Media is the opposisition party and they have no credibility whatsoever. Please Report the news and quit trying to make and shape it..

    1. Robert J Dow says:

      CBS news has no interest in being fair.. CBS news boss is David Rhodes, his lying brother Ben Rhodes was a big shot in Obama’s White House. They will do everything to make TRUMP look bad as can be to protect Obama’s legacy( not much to protect).

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