Keep Families Together: CEOs Are Speaking Out Against Trump’s Policy of Separating Migrant Kids and Parents at the Border

Donald Trump

Donald Trump | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Responding to public outcry, President Trump finally agreed to sign an order to keep families together at the border, CNN reports. “We’re going to be signing an executive order in a little while,” Trump said Wednesday, according to The New York Times. “We’ve got to be keeping families together.”

The outrage over the administration’s policy of separating detained migrants from their children was universal. This included politicians from both sides of the aisle, plus a number of CEOs from some of the largest companies in the world. “Separating a child from a mother or father is not political. It is inhumane,” Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya said in a statement, CNN reports.

He said children and parents should be “brought and kept together, regardless of which side of the border they are on.” This isn’t the first time Ulukaya railed against Trump’s immigration policies. In 2017, Ulukaya, who is Kurdish from Turkey, said the Trump travel ban was personal for him and pledged to fight for anyone impacted by the order, CNN reports.

“As an immigrant who came to this country looking for opportunity, it’s very difficult to think about and imagine what millions of people around the world must be feeling right now,” he said in a statement.

CEOs express outrage and sadness

Elon Musk

Elon Musk | Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

Airbnb founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk said, “Ripping children from the arms of their parents is heartless, cruel, immoral and counter to the American values of belonging,” CNN reports.

Also, Tesla CEO, Elon Musk tweeted, “I hope the kids are ok.”  Other CEOs like Thomas Donahue, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce and Chuck Robbins, the CEO of Cisco Systems voiced significant concern.  “This is not who we are and it must end now,” Donahue said, CNN reports.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said, “Immigration has been a critical part of America’s economic and cultural vitality,” according to CNN. Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft also took action. Lyft offered free rides to organizations that fight against the policy, according to CNN. Meanwhile Uber issued a statement its legal team connected with law firms who offer pro bono services.

CEO messages flooded the Internet, but one voice expressed caution. “I think they’re waiting a little bit to see how this plays out,” Nicholas Peters, senior vice president of CommCore Consulting Group, CNN reports. “When you’re dealing with an extremely emotional and potentially toxic subject. Companies have to be really careful.”

Tech companies take action

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Most tech companies issued statements against family separation. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki tweeted, “Regardless of your politics, it’s heartbreaking to see what’s happening to families at the border.” Wojcicki then linked to a list of groups helping the effort.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg donated money to The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. “Organizations like Texas Civil Rights Project and RAICES are doing great work helping families at the US border get legal advice and translation services, as well as documenting what is happening on the ground to make sure these stories are shared. I’ve donated to them and I encourage you to as well. We need to stop this policy right now,” Zuckerberg said on a Facebook post.

Microsoft previously expressed pride they provided technology services to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This also included the company’s Azure cloud computing service. Microsoft said in January their systems are used by the government branches to use, “deep learning capabilities to accelerate facial recognition and identification,” Cnet reports.

In light of recent border separations, Microsoft distanced itself from ICE. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the policy is “simply cruel and abusive, and we are standing for change.”

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!