Why Do Companies Hate Trump’s Immigration Order?
Big companies normally stay out of politics, but this time they were unable to.
Donald Trump’s executive order that limits immigration from Muslim-majority states (seven of them) has made a lot of people very upset. Of course, immigrant communities are the ones most affected by this, and this new policy inspired a lot of spontaneous protests at US airports.
Surprising opponents of this policy, though, are business groups. Iconic brands have all denounced Trump’s policy, including Coca-Cola, Ford, and Apple. Normally, these magnates stay as far away from politics as they possibly can, but now they had to speak out. Some of them have angry customers, others rely on immigrant employees, and some are simply motivated by their personal convictions.
This wouldn’t mean much to Trump, but the business community has a lot of influence in the Congress, among Trump’s Republican allies.
On the other hand, business groups that are among the most powerful have been silent. Even those that used to lobby for more liberal immigration laws are now giving noncommittal statements, such as this:
“At the moment we are focused on the reports we have gotten from companies understandably confused with regards to the status of green card holders and dual nationals, and we hope the administration can quickly clarify how these will be handled.”
The silence of these groups is making the impact of individual companies that are against the new policy significantly smaller. And, even though it is true that individual companies have lobbyists who can push for this policy to change, the fact remains that the business community has a bigger impact when unified. And as far as we can predict, this is not going to happen anytime soon.
Tech sector is seriously anti-Trump
The opposition of Trump’s policy is fiercest on the field of technology. Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Facebook, Google, Intel, Netflix, Salesforce, Uber, Airbnb and many others have put out statements condemning his move. Why? Well, CEO of Shutterstock, Jon Oringer said “The diversity of our employees is what makes our organization so great. We depend on people from different parts of the world, different cultures, to help us every day to achieve our goals.”
Brian O’Kelley, CEO of the ad technology company named AppNexus, said that this order is a basic violation of what the United States stand for and that it isn’t right to discriminate against people from certain countries.
The truth is…
Immigrants have co-founded a huge number of big tech companies, and all of them have immigrants among their employees. This means that the order Trump gave will not only hurt future recruitment, it also means that these companies now have a lot of people whose friends and family will be affected by this policy.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin is an immigrant himself, and he attended a protest against this policy, saying “I’m here because I’m a refugee.”
And this is not the only problem!
Some of these companies have customers or business partners from overseas. So, if they have a customer in the UK that was born in Syria and they want to bring them in for a conference, Trump’s policy will make it impossible. This puts U.S. companies at a disadvantage compared to companies based in other countries.
And this leads us right to another reason why tech companies are so firmly against this policy. The Internet has no borders, or at least it shouldn’t have! Technology companies are often competing in a global market.Also, their customers, employees, and suppliers are often based overseas. If this policy closes off the US from the rest of the planet, tech companies will be taking the hardest blow.
Some technology companies are keeping their heads down – foreign ones like Samsung or Sony. Also, many of enterprise IT companies are keeping a low profile, many of those supply products and services from the federal government.
HP and Oracle are staying quiet, while Dell CEO Michael Dell endorses “immigration reform.”
Some of them are keeping quiet out of fear, while others are hoping that Trump will enact other policies that will work in their favor. Therefore, opposing the president might make him disinclined to give them what they are asking for.
Unfortunately, this will not be the end of immigration troubles, as Trump is not done crafting his immigration policy. Rumor has it that he will restrict recruitment of high-skilled foreign workers and that there will be crackdowns on unauthorized immigration. This might hurt restaurant, hotel, and agricultural industry. So, we think that they will react once they get affected.
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