This afternoon Apple CEO wrote a memo to employees addressing Donald Trump's executive order temporarily halting the US refugee program for 120 days. "I share your concerns," Cook wrote to employees. "It is not a policy we support."
Here is the memo in full:
In my conversations with officials here in Washington this week, I've made it clear that Apple believes deeply in the importance of immigration -- both to our company and to our nation's future. Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do.
I've heard from many of you who are deeply concerned about the executive order issued yesterday restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. I share your concerns. It is not a policy we support.
There are employees at Apple who are directly affected by yesterday's immigration order. Our HR, Legal and Security teams are in contact with them, and Apple will do everything we can to support them. We’re providing resources on AppleWeb for anyone with questions or concerns about immigration policies. And we have reached out to the White House to explain the negative effect on our coworkers and our company.
As I've said many times, diversity makes our team stronger. And if there’s one thing I know about the people at Apple, it’s the depth of our empathy and support for one another. It’s as important now as it’s ever been, and it will not weaken one bit. I know I can count on all of you to make sure everyone at Apple feels welcome, respected and valued.
Apple is open. Open to everyone, no matter where they come from, which language they speak, who they love or how they worship. Our employees represent the finest talent in the world, and our team hails from every corner of the globe.
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, "We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now."
Tim Cook wrote the memo to employees from Washington D.C., where he's been taking meetings with top lawmakers. Yesterday, BuzzFeed News reported that Cook met with Senator Orin Hatch where they discussed ways to grow the economy and our tech industry. He also met with Democratic senator, Mark Warner.
Earlier this week, Politico reported that Cook also had dinner with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Thursday evening, along with fellow Apple employee, Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives. Jackson was the head of the EPA under President Obama from 2009-2013. Ivanka Trump has stated publicly she plans to focus some of her efforts during her father's presidency on the environment.
In December, Cook met with Trump and his transition team alongside other tech leaders. “Personally, I’ve never found being on the sideline a successful place to be,” Cook said in a Q&A session with Apple staff. “The way that you influence these issues is to be in the arena. So whether it’s in this country, or the European Union, or in China or South America, we engage. And we engage when we agree and we engage when we disagree. I think it’s very important to do that because you don’t change things by just yelling. You change things by showing everyone why your way is the best. In many ways, it’s a debate of ideas.”