Apple CEO Tim Cook said Tuesday his company is weighing legal options to fight President Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Cook said Apple had hundreds of employees affected by the ban.
The leader of the world’s most valuable company didn’t say exactly what Apple will do, but said he’s trying, “to be constructive and productive.” Without specifying, he also said he has been in contact with, “very, very senior people in the White House.”
“More than any country in the world,” he said, “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.”
Apple Affected by Ban
For an example of employees affected by the ban, Mr. Cook cited an employee with parents who hold dual citizenships from Canada and Iran. Expecting a child, his employees wrote to him saying those parents wouldn’t be able to travel to the U.S. from Canada to meet their new grandchild.
“These are people that have friends and family,” Mr. Cook said. “They’re co-workers. They’re taxpayers. They’re key parts of the community.”
He also noted that Apple itself was cofounded by a man whose father would have been prohibited entry into the U.S. had this executive order been in place in 1952. You might know him as Steve Jobs, whose biological father was a Syrian student named Abdulfattah John Jandali.
Apple Legal Action
Tim Cook was quick to condemn the Muslim ban over the weekend, saying “Apple would not exist without immigration.” He and other tech CEOs have been unified in opposing the executive order behind the ban, and many of those CEOs have been given a direct line of communication to the Trump White House.
Not many have openly discussed suing over the executive order, however. My guess is that a lawsuit would be a last resort for Mr. Cook, a sort of nuclear option if it became clear the administration won’t rescind the order.
The reality, however, is that there will be plenty of legal pressure on the order coming from a variety of sources. As it is, different aspects of the order have already been slammed by four federal judges.
But Tim Cook is the most careful and deliberate speaker in tech exec ranks. His comments to The Journal may well have been mostly intended to add weight to the public pressure against the order.