dglobalnews.com Amazon's Jeff Bezos Issues Strong Statement Opposing Trump's Immigration Order
Published: Wed, February 01, 2017
Tech | By Arthur Brown

Amazon's Jeff Bezos Issues Strong Statement Opposing Trump's Immigration Order

Amazon's Jeff Bezos Issues Strong Statement Opposing Trump's Immigration Order

On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order for "new vetting measures" that brought in sweeping changes to the USA refugee program and blocked citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country for at least 90 days - even people who already have visas and legal permits to live in the United States. Our legal team has prepared a declaration of support for the Washington State Attorney General who will be filing suit against the order.

Expedia plans to expand its services as a global travel company and believes it's crucial to hire talent from around the world, he said, noting that employees regularly travel among its global offices.

"We'll continue to make our views on these issues known to leaders in Washington and elsewhere".

"Expedia believes that the executive order jeopardizes its corporate mission and could have a detrimental impact on its business and its employees, as well as the broader US and global travel and tourism industry", Robert Dzielak, Expedia's executive vice president and general counsel, wrote in the company's declaration.

According to Dzielak, more than 1,000 Expedia customers who hold passports from one of the 7 affected countries - Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen - have current bookings that begin, end, or connect in the United States. But it could grow more hostile if Trump follows through with a draft executive order aimed at overhauling the H-1B work-visa program tech companies favor.

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has in an email to employees reportedly promised that the full extent of Amazon's resources are behind its employees in the USA and around the world who may be directly affected by the order. He said the United States is known for "harnessing" immigrants' talents and that it's "a distinctive competitive advantage for our country".

Ayesha Blackwell-Hawkins, senior manager of mobility and immigration at Amazon, counted 49 employees born in one of the countries identified in the executive order. The company also noted that Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian director of the Amazon Studios film, "The Salesman", may not be able to attend the Academy Awards, where his movie is up for Best Foreign Film. A number of major technology companies pledged their support for advocacy groups that filed a lawsuit Saturday, seeking to challenge the president's order.

Although Apple's Tim Cook and Amazon's Jeff Bezos both attended the tech-world meeting in NY with the then-president elect, the influential chief executive officers are not becoming comfortable bedfellows with the new administration.

The order "imposes restraints on Expedia's ability to efficiently operate its business", he said.

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