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In the wake of executive orders from U.S. President Donald Trump limiting immigration from a group of seven countries, Apple CEO Tim Cook has written to employees to reaffirm the company's pro-immigration stance, and advising affected staff will receive support from its human resources and legal teams.
Signed on Friday by President Trump, the executive order is suspending visa entry from seven Muslim-majority countries, until tougher vetting procedures are put in place, reports Time. The order, anticipated based on campaign trail pledges, will prevent citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya from entering the United States for a 90-day period and then even after "extreme vetting."
The ban applies to green card and H-1B visa holders, as well as to individuals maintaining dual-citizenship in one of the named countries.
"I am establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States," said Trump. "We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas."
Following the signing, immigrants from the seven countries were quick to feel the effects, with travelers barred from entry and removed from flights. The New York Times notes that the executive order has also affected green card holders from the specified countries, with those outside the U.S. requiring a case-by-case waiver to re-enter, and those resident in the U.S. advised to meet a consular officer before leaving.
Noting the importance of immigration to Apple, Tim Cook writes in the memo, acquired by MacRumors, that he has heard from a number of employees about the executive order, advising he shares their concerns and that "it is not a policy we support."
Employees directly affected by the immigration order have been contacted by Apple's human resources, legal, and security teams, with Cook pledging the company's support. Resources on Apple's company-wide communications system are being provided to further explain Apple's immigration policies, and Apple has also reached out to the current Administration to "explain the negative effect on our coworkers and our company."
"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."
The leadership of other tech giants have also responded to the order and its effects on employees, with the CEOs of Netflix, Lyft, Uber, Google, and Twitter objecting to the move.
Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian immigrant to the U.S.
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."