Apple considers legal action against Trump’s plans

If unity is strength then Silicon Valley has never looked more unified

Apple, Tim Cook, Trump, Donald Trump, US, UK, climate change, muslim ban, Prince Charles
Apple

If unity is strength then Silicon Valley has never looked more unified as execs from across the sector and beyond come together in opposition to what many in world now call Donald Trump’s "Muslim ban."

‘Heart-wrenching’

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, told the Wall Street Journal that “hundreds” of Apple employees have been impacted by the ban, forcing the company to consider legal action.

Cook explained that in one case an Apple employee who is expecting a child learned that the grandparents of that child will be unable to visit the infant when it is born because they hold Canadian and Iranian citizenship.

Cook says he is in contact with “very, very senior people in the White House,” to urge a repeal of the ban.

“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,” Cook said. “We ought to pause and really think deeply through that.”

Opposition

Apple does not live in isolation.

Google, Salesforce, Microsoft, Facebook, every major technology company opposes these restrictions.

Google is putting together a huge crisis fund to help people impacted by these rules, while Netflix CEO Reed Hasting called the order "so un-American it pains us all."

Silicon Valley is and always has been patriotic.

Apple co-founder Jobs always aimed to introduce products in the U.S. first, and worked incredibly hard to bring opportunity to the country. His father was Syrian born, but Jobs showed his national pride and gratitude through his actions.

While the economics of manufacturing have changed, Apple has created almost two million U.S. jobs as of 2015 (including direct hires, third party suppliers and independent developers). Apple is already one of the country’s biggest employers.

“Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do,” wrote Cook in an email to Apple staff.

Expert help

Technology firms are also concerned at other restrictions being mooted by the White House, including major H-1B reforms.

The latter will have a hugely negative impact on the Valley, meaning that even while traditional manufacturing jobs are automated, tech firms will be restricted in their operations, which will limit the number of new employments they can create.

After all, if a company can work with 1,000 experts from abroad on H-1B visas, but that work can then create 10,000 jobs in the host nation, who wins if the experts required to create that opportunity cannot be hired?

Beyond tech

Resistance to the measures extends far beyond tech firms.

Ford CEO Mark Fields and Executive Chairman Bill Ford have voiced their opposition, saying, “We have to live by our values.”

Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, MasterCard, Nike and Procter & Gamble have also expressed concerns.

Opposition is being felt worldwide.

In the U.K. almost 1.8 million people have argued against a Royal Visit for Trump. There is also concern that if he does receive that honor, the U.S. President apparently doesn’t wish to meet Prince Charles, because he does not want to discuss climate change with the U.K.’s future king.

While it is a fact that U.S. history demonstrates determined disinterest in being ruled by royalty, it is not normal for visiting dignitaries to select which royal family members they meet, particularly if doing so means snubbing the next King of England. A U.K. patriot may see such lack of tact as an insult against the nation.

Opposition to the ban now extends across an A-Z of corporate, national, and international people and entities.

What makes the whole thing so sad is that the ban itself is ineffective in policing the very problem it claims to address: any determined, well-resourced criminal will avoid it by using a fake identity to enter the country. It is the innocent who will suffer it most.

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