Tech giant Google has created a US$2 million crisis fund in response to US president Donald Trump’s immigration ban.
Google staff are also being invited to top up the fund, with the money going towards the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), International Rescue Committee (IRC), and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Funds provided by Google and its staff will total US$4 million.
“We chose these organisations for their incredible efforts in providing legal assistance and support services for immigrants, as well as their efforts on resettlement and general assistance for refugees globally,” a Google spokesperson said.
The announcement follows requests by Google CEO, Sundar Pichai last week for staff travelling overseas to come back to the US. More than 100 staff are affected by President Trump’s executive order on immigration.
Since 2015, Google has given more than US$16 million to organisations focused on humanitarian aid for refugees on the ground, WiFi in refugee camps, and education for out of school refugee children in Lebanon, the spokesperson said.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has also responded to the crisis, saying that as an immigrant himself, he has experienced the positive impact that immigration has on the company, the country and the world.
Nadella said Microsoft was providing legal advice and assistance to 76 staff who have a US visa and are citizens of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Sudan.
In an email sent to Microsoft staff, US-based director, Brad Smith said that Microsoft believes in a strong and balance skilled immigration system.
“We also believe in broader-immigration opportunities, like the protections for talented and law-abiding young people under the Deferred Access for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. We believe that immigration laws can and should protect the public without sacrificing people’s freedom of expression or religion. And we believe in the importance of protecting legitimate and law-abiding refugees whose very lives may be at stake in immigration proceedings,” he said.
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