"Apple Would Not Exist Without Immigration:" Tim Cook Speaks Out Against the Muslim Ban

As protests continued to unfold over President Trump's Muslim ban, tech leaders and CEOs from several companies began issuing memos to their employees. Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, quoted Martin Luther King Jr. in his memo to employees, stating, "It is not a policy we support."

The email to employees, obtained by Recode, speaks about Apple's own history with immigration, its innovation, and how the company views the ban. Some key quotes from the email are below:

  • On immigration: "Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do."
  • On the Muslim ban: "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."
  • On employees affected by the ban: "Our HR, Legal and Security teams are in contact with them, and Apple will do everything we can to support them."
  • On diversity: "As I've said many times, diversity makes our team stronger."
  • On the type of environment Apple likes to create: "Apple is open. Open to everyone, no matter where they come from, which language they speak, who they love or how they worship."

Cook's response is especially relevant considering that founder and former CEO Steve Jobs's biological father was a Syrian migrant. Since the refugee crisis, some have wondered whether Apple would even exist today if Jobs's own father wasn't allowed to migrate to the US. However, it's equally important to focus on the refugee crisis as a whole — not merely because it might've helped the tech giant come to be.

Apple isn't alone in responding to the ban and condemning it. CEOs from Google, Airbnb, Twitter, Facebook, Tesla, Microsoft, Lyft, Netflix, Box, Twilio, and Uber responded to the ban as well.