Saturday, January 28, 2017

Apple, Microsoft and Uber help staff stranded by Trump ban

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In a Facebook post, Uber chief Travis Kalanick stated that his company would identify affected drivers and “compensate them pro bono” during the next three months. They won’t have to worry about “putting food on the table” in the meantime, he says. The ridesharing firm will offer more info in the days ahead.

On top of the practical considerations, tech companies are also voicing a concerted moral opposition to the immigration ban. Apple CEO Tim Cook is reminding staff that “diversity makes us stronger,” and that the company wouldn’t exist without immigration — Steve Jobs was the child of a Syrian immigrant, after all. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, meanwhile, decries the restrictions as both “un-American” and likely to increase the threat to Americans by fostering hate. Twitter’s Jack Dorsey says that the human and financial effects of the order are “real and upsetting.” Mozilla is also chipping in with arguments that this both creates a “barrier to innovation” and hurts people who may face “persecution, terror and war.” Whatever you believe, it’s safe to presume that the tech world won’t be quiet about this issue any time soon.

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