By Rob Price/Business Insider
Google has criticized Donald Trump over an executive order on immigration and recalled some staff from overseas.
In a memo to employees reported on Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal, Sundar Pichai slammed the effects of the directive on Google staff.
“We’re upset about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that could create barriers to bringing great talent to the US,” he wrote.
“It’s painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues.”
On Friday, Donald Trump signed an executive order for “extreme vetting” for the US refugee program and blocked citizens of a number of Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for at least 90 days — even people who already have visas and legal permits to live in the United States.The countries affected are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
According to The Wall Street Journal, “at least” 187 Google employees who normally live and work in the US have been affected by the ban, and the company is recalling employees who are currently abroad who might be at risk.
“Our first order of business is to help Googlers who are affected,” Pichai said. “If you’re abroad and need help please reach out to our global security team.”
The technology industry was predominantly supportive of Hillary Clinton prior to the election, and is heavily reliant on skilled immigrant labor — meaning Donald Trump’s isolationist, anti-immigrant rhetoric has provoked worry in Silicon Valley.
Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s chief strategist and former editor of far-right news site Breitbart, had previously expressed concerns about the number of Asian CEOs in the technological industry.
“When two-thirds or three-quarters of the CEOs in Silicon Valley are from South Asia or from Asia, I think…” he said. “A country is more than an economy. We’re a civic society.”
Google’s Sundar Pichai isn’t the only major tech CEO to speak out about Trump’s executive order on immigration. Mark Zuckerberg ,chief executive of Facebook wrong in a post on the social network: “ We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat.”
Reached for comment, a Google spokesperson told Business Insider: “We’re concerned about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that could create barriers to bringing great talent to the US. We’ll continue to make our views on these issues known to leaders in Washington and elsewhere.”
Alex Heath reports
Luminaries of the tech industry have voiced concern, sharp criticism, and calls for unity in the wake of President Trump’s unprecedented executive order barring refugees from entering the US.
Over the weekend, CEOs of companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Airbnb shared their near-unanimous opposition to Trump’s order, which bans people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the US for 90 days and the admission of all refugees for 120 days.
Some companies, such as ride-hailing app Lyft, pledged large donations to the The American Civil Liberties Union for its legal work in challenging Trump’s order. Many said they would offer free legal assistance to employees affected by the ban.
Here are the reactions to Trump’s executive order on immigration from the biggest names in tech:
Like many of you, I’m concerned about the impact of the recent executive orders signed by President Trump,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post on Friday.
He said he remained optimistic about Trump’s vague commitment to protecting “Dreamer” immigrants who were brought into the US at a young age from deportation.
“Executive orders affecting world’s most vulnerable are un-American,” he tweeted. “Dropbox embraces people from all countries and faiths.”
From the very beginning, Amazon has been committed to equal rights, tolerance and diversity—and we always will be,” Amazon VP of HR Beth Galatti wrote in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Business Insider. “As we’ve grown the company, we’ve worked hard to attract talented people from all over the world, and we believe this is one of the things that makes Amazon great—a diverse workforce helps us build better products for customers.”
(The featured image at the top is that of Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google)