Apple is considering legal action to pressure the Trump administration into rescinding its executive order on immigration, Tim Cook told The Wall Street Journal in a new interview. The news comes days after Microsoft, Amazon and other companies pledged declarations of support for Washington state's legal fight against the executive order.
The order, signed last Friday, suspends entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, bans Syrian refugees for an indefinite amount of time and blocks citizens of 7 countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days. On Saturday, Cook sent an email to all Apple employees saying that the order "is not a policy we support," and that Apple's HR, Legal and Security teams were contacting employees who were affected.
Cook says hundreds of employees have been affected by the order and that he's been contacting "very, very senior people in the White House" to tell them that rescinding the order is not only important for Apple, but because the U.S.' strength comes from its immigrant background.
“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.”
Numerous Apple employees have contacted Cook with "heart-wrenching stories" about how the ban will affect them, he says. One employee, according to the WSJ, is expecting a child and is afraid the future grandparents, which have Canadian and Iranian citizenship, wouldn't be able to meet their grandchild.
Apple is still considering its legal options and Cook declined to elaborate on the possibilities, but did note the company wants to be both "productive" and "constructive" in its response. Opposing the order, Cook says, was a simple decision since Apple selling its devices in more than 180 countries makes it important for it to "look like the world." Finally, Cook says that part of the reason Apple opposes the order is because it would not exist if the Syrian immigrant father of Steve Jobs did not have the opportunity to come to the U.S.
Last week, Cook spent a week in Washington, where he met with Utah senator Orrin Hatch to discuss the economy and tech industry and had dinner with Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, one of President Trump's closest advisers.
Outside of legal action, Apple employees have been increasing their donations to refugee relief funds, with Apple matching donations 2-to-1. The move comes as other tech companies find alternative methods to opposing the order, including Airbnb providing free housing to immigrants displaced by the order and more than 2,000 Google employees around the world staging a walkout.
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