Executives at Apple, Microsoft, YouTube, Uber, and more tech companies are joining other Americans with a conscience in speaking out against the Trump administration’s practice of separating children from their families at the border.
“It’s heartbreaking to see the images and hear the sounds of the kids,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told the Irish Times. “Kids are the most vulnerable people in any society. I think that what’s happening is inhumane, it needs to stop.”
Over a six-week period ending in May, the United States government separated over 2,000 children from their families as they attempted to cross the border and placed the children and parents in separate facilities. Increased media coverage of the practice, featuring new images of immigrants being kept in cages and ProPublica’s gobsmacking audio of children wailing, has led to national outrage in recent days. The public has responded to the revelations with an outpouring of donations to immigrant advocacy organizations and calls for change.
The tech industry isn’t staying silent. In addition to Apple’s Cook, CEOs Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), Dara Khosrowshahi (Uber), Susan Wojcicki (YouTube), and others have taken to social media to speak out. Many have also pledged donations, with Zuckerberg leading a fundraising effort that has so far raised over $25,000.
In a Tuesday memo to Uber employees, Uber execs said the company’s legal team is looking into connecting families with lawyers and already donated $100,000 to a nonprofit helping separated children, according to Business Insider.
As a father, a citizen and an immigrant myself, the stories coming from our border break my heart. Families are the backbone of society. A policy that pulls them apart rather than building them up is immoral and just plain wrong. #KeepFamiliesTogether https://t.co/g2Cu40zvcX
— dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) June 19, 2018
Other tech industry leaders that have called for change include representatives from Airbnb, Box, eBay, Cisco, and others.
Microsoft also issued a statement saying that it is “dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border.” That comes after reports of employee anger over Microsoft’s cloud computing deal with Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). Microsoft managed to overcome its dismay long enough to reassure the public that “Microsoft is not working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or U.S. Customs and Border Protection on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border.”
Tesla’s Elon Musk also expressed his support with a puzzling series of tweets.
The tech industry has pushed back on Trump policy before, specifically on immigration issues around Dreamers and the Muslim ban. But despite criticism from some of the most important leaders in the country, including multiple first ladies, Trump and his flunkies continue to falsely state that the president’s hands are tied and blame Democrats for the horrific practice.
Meanwhile, amidst outrage from CEOs and citizens alike, those kids are still in cages. Here’s how to help.
UPDATE: June 19, 2018, 5:29 p.m. PDT Additional information included about Uber’s donation and legal help.