Apple may take legal action over Muslim travel ban

Silicon Valley execs, including Alphabet’s Sergey Brin, protest against Trump’s order

Apple CEO Tim Cook: “This country is strong because of our immigrant background and our capacity and ability as people to welcome people from all kinds of backgrounds.” Photograph: Asa Mathat/Reuters

Apple CEO Tim Cook: “This country is strong because of our immigrant background and our capacity and ability as people to welcome people from all kinds of backgrounds.” Photograph: Asa Mathat/Reuters

 

Apple is considering taking legal action against the executive order signed by US president Donald Trump halting entry by persons from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

America’s largest corporation will continue to press the White House to reverse the order, its chief executive Tim Cook told the Wall Street Journal.

Mr Cook joins other high-profile Silicon Valley executives, including Alphabet’s Sergey Brin, in protesting the order, which threatens to stem the flow of immigrant talent the industry relies on.

Mr Cook didn’t elaborate on his legal options in the interview, saying only: “We want to be constructive and productive.” Apple representatives didn’t respond to phone calls seeking comment after normal business hours.

‘Makes us special’

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

Mr Trump’s order prevents people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US for the next three months, a move the White House says is needed to safeguard the country from terrorist acts.

But emotions are running high in the tech industry because that executive order violates Silicon Valley’s self-image of inclusion and tolerance. At least half of the top 20 US tech companies were founded or are currently led by someone who came from another country.

Immigrant’s son

MicrosoftGoogle

The industry also relies on foreigners to make up for the dearth of home-grown engineering talent needed to write advanced software and build complex machines. Many of the core tasks at Silicon Valley companies are handled by immigrants.

Mr Cook said he’d received numerous emails from employees with “heart-wrenching stories” about the potential fallout from Mr Trump’s executive decision, which could extend to hundreds of Apple’s workers.

“These are people that have friends and family. They’re co-workers. They’re taxpayers. They’re key parts of the community,” Mr Cook said.

(Bloomberg)