Apple’s Tim Cook weighs legal action against Trump immigration bans

Apple CEO Tim Cook says the company is considering legal options against Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, as tech industry resistance to it continues to grow.

Cook, who in a memo to employees soon after the president’s ban last week said that the company “wouldn’t exist without immigration,” said hundreds of employees have been affected, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“These are people that have friends and family. They’re co-workers. They’re taxpayers. They’re key parts of the community,” Cook told the Journal in an interview Tuesday, saying he has received “heart-wrenching” emails from his employees.

The CEO — like other tech executives who have spoken out against Trump’s ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries and refugees, a move the new administration says is needed to fight terrorism — also said the ban affects Apple’s global business.

It’s important that Apple’s employees “look like the world,” Cook said, considering the company sells its devices in 180 countries. It was “a simple decision to oppose the executive order,” he told the Journal.

Also this week, Amazon and Expedia filed declarations of support for Washington state’s lawsuit against Trump’s order, and GitHub organized a meeting of tech companies to consider how they could legally support resistance.

Other big U.S. tech companies that have said their employees are affected by the order include Google — whose employees and executives have protested the bans — and Microsoft.

Cook, who was among the executives present at Trump’s tech forum in December despite a complicated relationship with the then-president-elect, also said he is contacting “very, very senior people in the White House” to stress to them that the immigration ban is against the nation’s best interests.

“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,” Cook said. “That’s what makes us special. We ought to pause and really think deeply through that.”


Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook, right, and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, center, listen as President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with technology industry leaders at Trump Tower in New York on Dec. 14, 2016. (Evan Vucci/AP)


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  • Frankie Post

    I get everything that you are saying except for the fact that you aren’t calling Trump “President Trump.” You don’t have to respect the man but respect the position.

    • sd

      Given Trump’s willingness to lie, I wonder if he actually *is* the President. Yeah, he may have been sworn in and may be signing things, but he acts more like a puppet of Bannon’s or Putin’s.

    • James Williams

      According to the first amendment they don’t have to call Trump that. The great thing about America is that you have the freedom to disagree and not respect the government.

  • RegularGuy55

    This is the same Apple which parks billions of dollars in profits in offshore accounts to avoid paying US taxes?

    This is the same Apple that has some 4600 H1-B visa employees – foreign workers in American jobs?

    You’re in no position to throw stones, Mr. Cook.

    • James Williams

      According to Trump not paying taxes makes them smart. Trump also employs foreign workers.

  • Dave

    Imagine a world where Islamic people called to arms in defense of Islam and wiped ISIS off the face of the world. And not just trifle soldiers trained by US forces in Iraq. Would we even be talking about lawsuits against the U.S.A. had Arabs rose up and defended there homeland from the tyranny and oppression of Islamic State? Why hasn’t this happened? Why are Arabs so complaisant? Something is just not right about a people that sit back and let foreign Nations do the bulk of their fighting and shed blood for them. I do not advocate a ban on refugees, they have suffered immensely under ISIS domination but the same atrocities happened in WWII against Jews, Chinese in Manchuria, Filipinos, and they all had either armies or undergroud resistance to fight Natzi Germany and Imperial Japan. Where are the leaders of the Arab Nations to pledge a better world without the perversion of ISIS in it? Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, UAE, Somalia, Morroco, Syria, Yemen, Lybia, Indonesia, and many other Islamic nations of the world, it is overdue, step up and kill ISIS, you have the ability to change your people’s ideology, no Western outsiders can ever have such credibility, and once done all these controversial issues facing our leaders in the U.S.A. will be moot.