Wall Street Journal
By Tripp Mickle
January 31, 2017
Apple Inc. is weighing legal action and continuing to press the Trump administration to reverse its executive order on immigration, Chief Executive Tim Cook said in an interview.
Mr. Cook said hundreds of Apple employees have been affected by the order, which suspended entry to the U.S. for refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations. He added that he continues to contact “very, very senior people in the White House” and impress on them why repealing the executive order is important not only for Apple but for the country.
“More than any country in the world, 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,” said Mr. Cook. “We ought to pause and really think deeply through that.”
Trump administration officials and their allies have argued that the travel restrictions are needed to keep the U.S. safe from potential terrorists, and say the measure has broad support.
Donald Trump criticized Apple during the presidential campaign, partly for manufacturing its products overseas, but relations appear to have improved since the election. Mr. Cook visited Washington, D.C. last week, where he dined with Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to the president, according to people familiar with the trip. That followed a private meeting last month with Mr. Trump.
Mr. Cook’s comments about the immigration order, in an interview Tuesday as Apple reported quarterly results, expanded on remarks in an email to staff over the weekend voicing concern about the policy. He was among a number of tech industry leaders—including those from Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc., and Uber Technologies—to speak out over the weekend.
Amazon.com Inc. on Monday said it submitted a declaration of support for a suit filed by the Washington state attorney general against President Trump’s order.
Mr. Cook declined to elaborate on Apple’s possible legal options, except to say that “we want to be constructive and productive.” He said that since the order was signed, he’s received numerous emails from Apple employees with “heart-wrenching stories” about how the order will affect friends and family. One employee who’s expecting a child said the future grandparents have Canadian and Iranian citizenship and won’t be able to visit to meet their new grandchild.
“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.
Apple now sells its devices in more than 180 countries and territories. As a result, Mr. Cook said it is more important than ever before that the company’s staff “look like the world.” That’s made it “a simple decision to oppose the executive order,” he said.
The company’s opposition to the order also flows in part from the fact that Apple exists, thanks to the welcoming of immigrants by the U.S. Its late co-founder and longtime CEO, Steve Jobs, was the son of a Syrian immigrant who came to the U.S. in 1952 to study.
In recent days, Apple employees have been increasing their contributions to refugee relief funds, which Mr. Cook said the company will match on a 2-to-1 basis. The contributions come a year after Apple gave $2.5 million to refugee relief.
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