The impact of President Trump’s immigration ban is already being felt by US tech companies, with some of the big names in Silicon Valley now speaking out on the issue.
Several big names in the tech industry joined airport protests, including Google co-founder Sergey Brin and tech-start-up accelerator Y Combinator’s Sam Altman.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai has been accredited with initiating the movement after he sent a memo to all employees raising his concerns and revealing that more than 100 Google staff were affected by the ban. The email quickly spread beyond Google employees and began receiving online attention.
Other tech giants expressed their disappointment on the ban via social media, with Netflix’s Reed Hastings, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey all tweeting to express their sadness about the matter.
Alongside the moral opposition to the matter, the shortage of skilled labour is a large concern for Silicon Valley companies. Skilled labour from immigration is integral to Silicon Valley; the US doesn’t create enough IT professionals to sustain these companies, so brainpower from skilled migrants is essential. Furthermore, some of the biggest names in the tech industry were not American-born; for example, Steve Jobs’ biological father was in fact Syrian.
Some of the biggest names in the tech industry have made moves to fight against Trump’s immigration policies. Google have set up a crisis fund of $2 million to help those affected by the ban, and AirBnB co-founder Brian Chesky has offered free housing to anyone who is stuck outside the US left unable to return home.