Apple CEO Tim Cook Says Trump’s Muslim Ban ‘Is Not a Policy We Support’

2 minute read
| Editorial

Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees Saturday that President Trump’s Muslim ban, “is not a policy we support.” Echoing his many previous comments on diversity, Mr. Cook said, “Apple would not exist without immigration.”

Tim Cook from Washington Post Interview

Apple CEO Tim Cook

The comments come in reaction to an executive order from the White House imposing a travel and immigration ban on seven Muslim-majority countries. The order halts the U.S.’s refugee resettlement program, and it’s been applied even to legal residents of the U.S. who originally came from the seven countries.

Tech Companies and Immigration

Above and beyond the political ramifications, President Trump’s Muslim ban has a direct effect on many tech companies, including Apple. U.S. tech firms of all sizes recruit among immigrants and have foreign nationals working and traveling between the U.S. and other countries, including the banned countries.

Unsurprisingly, the CEOs of Tesla, Microsoft, Netflix, Uber*, Lyft, Airbnb, and Y Combinatorall issued various forms of condemnation of the ban. Google also issued a statement critical of the ban. All of those companies have employees either covered by the ban, or who have family and friends covered by the ban. That makes the ban disruptive to these companies and their customers.

It also makes this one of many issues where politics intersect with technology.

Tim Cook and Diversity

Tim Cook has been an outspoken, public supporter of diversity as CEO of Apple. He has cited cultural, ethnic, religious, and sexual orientation diversity within Apple as a driving force for innovation within Apple. Saturday’s letter to employees echoes past statements in support of marriage equality, gay rights, and racial diversity.

Tim Cook Letter to Employees on Muslim Ban

The letter in full, as first published by MacRumors:

Team,

In my conversations with officials here in Washington this week, I’ve made it clear that Apple believes deeply in the importance of immigration — both to our company and to our nation’s future. Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do.

I’ve heard from many of you who are deeply concerned about the executive order issued yesterday restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. I share your concerns. It is not a policy we support.

There are employees at Apple who are directly affected by yesterday’s immigration order. Our HR, Legal and Security teams are in contact with them, and Apple will do everything we can to support them. We’re providing resources on AppleWeb for anyone with questions or concerns about immigration policies. And we have reached out to the White House to explain the negative effect on our coworkers and our company.

As I’ve said many times, diversity makes our team stronger. And if there’s one thing I know about the people at Apple, it’s the depth of our empathy and support for one another. It’s as important now as it’s ever been, and it will not weaken one bit. I know I can count on all of you to make sure everyone at Apple feels welcome, respected and valued.

Apple is open. Open to everyone, no matter where they come from, which language they speak, who they love or how they worship. Our employees represent the finest talent in the world, and our team hails from every corner of the globe.

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, “We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now.”

Tim

*Uber needed a nudge from a #DeleteUber campaign on Twitter to join the condemnation more forcibly.

17 Comments Add a comment

  1. gnasher729

    I very much appreciate that the CEO of a respected company like Apple comments on political subjects that affect his company and the world at large. It strengthens the Apple brand when he can demonstrate that the company is not just about selling phones, but making the world a better place. That is after all why Steve Jobs started the company.

    I would also have appreciated if orange-coloured real estate dealers had stayed out of politics.

  2. Points to consider: This ban is temporary while the vetting process is studied and improved. This ban does not prevent most people from entering the U.S. Trump had this as a major part of his campaign; so it is not surprising to see him keep a promise. He won the election and as Obama said, elections have consequences. U.S. Tech companies are not going to fall apart in three months. Everyone should take a deep breath, there is an app for that.

  3. Lee – 120 days. Also worth noting – this for the most part is a continuation of Obama’s EO on the subject. It is also not a Muslim ban, as much of the press has erroneously noted. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population on earth, and they are not on the banned list.
    The press is doing is best to discredit Trump in any way possible, and creating the “Muslim Ban” meme is way off base. By the way, both Obama’s and Trumps EO’s on this are likely illegal, but Congress has never stepped in to stop it.

  4. First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Replace any of them with the common modern day scapegoats Muslims, Gays, Atheists, etc., and you have the US situation today.

  5. Lee, there are good reasons that the Electoral College decides who is elected. He won it and that cannot be changed. I didn’t support Obama campaigns; but hoped he would do well. I didn’t support Trump’s campaign; but do hope he will do well. On the immigration issue I do support what he is trying to do.

    The length of the vetting process is not the issue. The issue is being able to establish who is seeking entrance and as much as is possible the reasons.

  6. This ban from 7 small middle eastern countries does not materially affect Apple in any way. The other predominantly muslim countries (such as Indonesia, which is the largest) are not banned at all.

    When Obama banned refugees from one of these countries (Iraq) for 6 months, Tim Cook did not put out a statement. I fail to see how adding Yemen, Afghanistant, and 4 others now constitutes a global crisis.

    It doesn’t. It’s just posturing. Most of politics today is like “one weird trick” ads which exist to trick people and pique interest. But there is no substance. Politics today is just about riling people up.

    Hollywood, silicon valley, and the media are a loud voice – but the rest of America will simply quietly walk into the voting booth and sanely vote to protect our borders.

  7. Winning an election does mean unconditional support. When people bring up the popular vote, it is only to remind others that a good chunk of the nation is not simply going to roll over and obey upon command.

    As for CEOs or anybody having things to say that are political, welcome to the new world. You cannot not be political at this juncture. I’ve read comments on a good number of sites that say, “hey, I didn’t come here for politics.” The world is rapidly changing in very uncertain ways; none of us is going to be able to hunker down in our bliss shelters for very long, whether we like it or not.

  8. Well, yes, it is a Muslim ban. Not a global Muslim ban, but one nevertheless. Trump signed an executive order on that will suspend travel visas for anyone from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the US. The order will affect people from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, reports suggested. However, Syrian Christians will receive priority for refugees status from the US, he said. Therefore, he is clearly perpetrating religious discrimination. Just over a year ago Trump said, “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdownof Muslims entering the United States…” I fear he will achieve this aim.

    Trump is an embarassment to the USA and a danger to the world.

    Great Trump video: https://youtu.be/j-xxis7hDOE

    (Disclosure: I’m not an American, I’m a European.)

  9. Trump’s policies amount to: we’re gonna take a few months and get a better vetting process in place, and then will mostly continue accepting refugees as we did before. Not a big deal, really.

    Secondly, I would expect Tim Cook’s policy to be: Apple first. So for Tim Cook, Apple should come before FoxConn. Apple should come before Microsoft. That is why Trump as the president should also have an “American first” mentality. With the understanding the every country’s leaders should be looking out for their own country first.

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