Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Out Against Trump’s Executive Orders On Immigration
It’s not secret that Silicon Valley didn’t sit well with President Donald Trump during his hate-driven campaign. A week into Trump’s presidency, the divide doesn’t appear to be going away.
Trump’s latest executive orders banning immigrants and refugees from certain Muslin nations from entering the United States has tech giants gearing up for a full revolt, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is leading the charge against Trump’s unprecedented action.
“Like many of you, I’m concerned about the impact of the recent executive orders signed by President Trump,” Zuckerberg wrote in response. “We should also keep our doors open to refugees and those who need help. That’s who we are.”
The statements come less than 24 hours after Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg blasted Trump’s reinstatement of a decades-old policy that prohibits US aid to foreign health providers that offer abortion counseling.
Both Facebook executives used the platform to end their silence this week, each including examples of their personal experience to drive home their statements.
“These issues are personal for me even beyond my family. A few years ago, I taught a class at a local middle school where some of my best students were undocumented,” Zuckerberg said Friday. “They are our future too. We are a nation of immigrants, and we all benefit when the best and brightest from around the world can live, work and contribute here.”
Jose Antonio Vargas, an advocate for undocumented immigrants and founder of the nonprofit group Define American, praised Zuckerberg’s words, calling the billionaire “the most high-profile ally of undocumented immigrants in the Trump era.”
Vargas, who disclosed that he was an undocumented immigrant in 2011, said that publicly supporting immigration under former president Barack Obama was “a whole other thing” under Trump. “We live in a country where if you say something homophobic, that’s not acceptable,” Vargas explained. “But if you are anti-immigrant, you win the White House. That is … way beyond politics and policy. That’s a cultural shift.”
Vargas said he hopes other Silicon Valley executives take note of Zuckerberg’s stance on the issue, calling the CEO’s words “commendable and necessary” while citing the prevalence of immigrants who work in the technology industry. “It begs the question of who is going to follow suit,” Vargas said. “I think Zuckerberg has created a space for other people to do that.”