Making good on the promises he made during his presidential campaign, President Donald Trump officially signed an executive order barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries (Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq) from entering the U.S. for 90 days. This ban has become known colloquially as the “Muslim ban,” a controversial order that has sparked protest around the globe.
The ban also suspends the United States’s refugee system for 120 days, as Trump focuses on implementing an “extreme vetting” procedure that he hopes will keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the U.S. (Controversially, the order does not apply to the homeland of the terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt are all exempt from the ban.)
Notably, the ban suspends the U.S.’s Syrian refugee program, which accepted 12,486 Syrians in 2016. It also gives preferential treatment to Christian refugees from the Middle East over Muslims and limits the number of refugees allowed to enter the U.S. in 2017 by more than half, from 110,000 to 50,000.
Those opposing the order have threatened a legal challenge on two fronts: protestors argue that the ban violates the Fifth Amendment right to due process and condones preferential treatment of Christians over Muslims, which, they contest, violates the First Amendment protecting freedom of religion.
Corporations aren’t staying quiet on the matter. So far, several influential business leaders in charge of the world’s largest corporations have stood up in solidarity (some even hand in hand) with immigration rights. Below are a few of the most notable companies making the biggest difference since the announcement.
“I write to you today with deep concern, a heavy heart and a resolute promise,” Starbucks’s CEO Howard Schultz wrote in a letter to all Starbucks employees. In it, Schultz, speaking on behalf of the coffee chain, announced that Starbucks will redouble its efforts to hire people fleeing war, violence, persecution and discrimination and hire 10,000 refugees worldwide within the next five years. In the U.S., these would begin with workers who served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel. Trump supporters are now boycotting the chain.
Lyft sent an email to users on Sunday informing readers that the company would be donating $1 million over the next four years to the American Civil Liberties Union. When compared to the app’s biggest competitor, Uber, which is worth $68 billion and has done little aside from ruffling feathers, has caused many Uber loyalists to switch services
On Monday, Google honored Fred Korematsu in a Google Doodle on what would have been his 98th birthday. The homage was a clear reference to the Muslim ban, as this was not a milestone birthday for the political figure. (Korematsu was a noted American civil rights activist who fought against Japanese internment during World War II.) Google has also created a $2 million crisis fund that can be matched by up to $2 million in donations from employees; it has the potential to become the company’s largest humanitarian campaign to date.
“Twitter is built by immigrants of all religions. We stand for and with them, always,” the corporation tweeted on Saturday. Twitter investor Chris Sacca said he’d donate $150,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union.
Microsoft, Amazon and Expedia
Tech companies are joining forces with Washington State’s government (namely General Bob Ferguson) who filed a lawsuit against Trump’s order. The lawsuit will attempt to prove the immigration ban is unconstitutional. At this time, Microsoft, Amazon and Expedia are the only three tech heavyweights in support of the lawsuit, but the number is expected to grow. A Microsoft spokesman told Reuters that the company is providing information about the effect of the order in order to “be supportive.” They also would “be happy to testify further if needed.”
Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky announced that the company will try to provide free housing for those affected by travel restrictions resulting from Trump’s ban. The company has been active in refugee relief efforts since 2015, when it began offering free housing to relief workers in Greece, Serbia and Macedonia. It also added a donation tool to its website where Airbnb members can contribute.
Other corporations who have voiced opposition to the ban?
Apple, Facebook, Tesla, Intel, Drop Box, Netflix, Etsy and Reddit.