Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has used his own page on the social network to criticise president Donald Trump’s executive order to crackdown on immigrants and refugees from certain Muslim-majority countries, making him the first tech industry leader to hit out against the billionaire since the election.
Zuckerberg published the post yesterday (27 January) urging the president to keep the US borders open to those refugees who need a safe haven after Trump introduced controversial guidelines to keep “radical Islamic terrorists” out of the US.
The Facebook founder urged the president not to turn away millions of “undocumented folks” who don’t pose any security threats.
The social network employs a large number of immigrants in the US via the high-skilled H-1B visa. Additional limitations on this program could prevent Facebook from recruiting the talent it needs to continue to grow in a fiercely-competitive industry.
Google echoed Zuckerberg’s claims, issuing a statement that outlined its concern about the impact Trump’s clampdown could have its own staff. The statement read: “We’re concerned about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that could create barriers to brining great talent to the US. We’ll continue to make our views on these issues known to leaders in Washington and elsewhere.”
Senior executives from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Intel and other countries travelled to Trump Tower at the end of 2016 to meet the president-elect. Tesla’s Elon Musk and Uber’s Travis Kalanick are part of Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, formed to help shape hi economic agenda, while Google reportedly hosted a party for republican lawmakers and Facebook held an inauguration party with the right-wing Daily Caller.
Trump has pushed back against globalisation’s inevitable effect on domestic jobs in industries such as manufacturing moving to other countries, and instead championed economic nationalism.