Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook have all issued statements
By now you’ve seen the photos and videos and probably heard the audio tape. The media coming out of the U.S./Mexico border over the past week has been truly heart-wrenching and horrifying, including, most shockingly, images of young children being housed in what amounts to human cages.
Many prominent politicians across the world (and in the G.O.P.) have called out the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the border. A number of prominent executives from top tech companies have also begun to use their soapbox to address — and largely admonish — the policies that have led to this humanitarian crisis.
Here’s what those individuals are saying.
Microsoft was among the first tech giants to issue a statement about the situation. The official company line was both an admonishment of current administration policy and somewhat defensive after speculation arose that the company’s cloud computing platform Azure may have somehow been involved.
Here’s the full statement issued on Monday:
In response to questions we want to be clear: 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, and contrary to some speculation, we are not aware of Azure or Azure services being used for this purpose. As a company, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border. Family unification has been a fundamental tenet of American policy and law since the end of World War II. As a company Microsoft has worked for over 20 years to combine technology with the rule of law to ensure that children who are refugees and immigrants can remain with their parents. We need to continue to build on this noble tradition rather than change course now. We urge the administration to change its policy and Congress to pass legislation ensuring children are no longer separated from their families.
Rather than issuing a public statement, Tim Cook called the situation “inhumane” during a talk in Dublin this week. Apple’s CEO expounded upon that thought during an interview with The Irish Times, telling the paper, “It’s heartbreaking to see the images and hear the sounds of the kids. Kids are the most vulnerable people in any society. I think that what’s happening is inhumane, it needs to stop.”
As far as his own strained relationship with Trump, Cook added diplomatically, “I have spoken with him several times on several issues, and I have found him to listen. I haven’t found that he will agree on all things.”
CEO Sundar Pichai took to Twitter to urge a more “humane” approach, writing, “The stories and images of families being separated at the border are gut-wrenching. Urging our government to work together to find a better, more humane way that is reflective of our values as a nation.”
Mark Zuckerberg, naturally, issued a call to action via Facebook. The post is largely a call to action asking followers to donate to nonprofit orgs Texas Civil Rights Project and RAICES, adding, “we need to stop this policy right now.”
COO Sheryl Sandberg also encouraged users to donate to the two aforementioned charities, though her language was decidedly more pointed than Zuckerberg’s. “Listening to the cries of children separated from their parents is unbearable,” she wrote. “The practice of family separation on our border needs to end now. We can’t look away. How we treat those most vulnerable says a lot about who we are.”
In a simple tweet, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote, “Regardless of your politics, it’s heartbreaking to see what’s happening to families at the border,” while linking to a list of charities.
Elon Musk’s own tweet was a bit less…verbose than the rest, simply writing, “I hope the kids are ok” and linking to a YouTube video of “Shelter” by xx.
Airbnb co-founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk issued a joint statement on Twitter in both English and Spanish:
Ripping children from the arms of their parents is heartless, cruel, immoral and counter to American values of belonging. The U.S. government needs to stop this injustice and reunite these families. We are a better country than this.
CEO Dara Khosrowshahi cited his own experience as an immigrant to admonish the policy, writing, “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.”
The co-founders of the country’s other major ridesharing service also issued a joint statement condemning the actions. They went a step further, as well, offering free rides to a dozen organizations providing help at the border.