Big business speaks out against Trump’s travel ban

Tom DiChristopher, CNBC

President Donald Trump's executive order banning travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries has sparked international outrage, leading to protests by civilians and criticism from politicians and CEOs alike.

The ban temporarily prevents refugees from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from entering the U.S.

Here, CNBC collects the most notable objections from top businesses and their CEOs.


Howard Schultz
David Ryder | Reuters

Howard Schultz, the CEO of the coffee chain Starbucks, vowed to hire 10,000 refugees around the world in a message to employees posted on the company's website.

"We will neither stand by, nor stand silent, as the uncertainty around the new administration's actions grows with each passing day," he said.

"There are more than 65 million citizens of the world recognized as refugees by the United Nations, and we are developing plans to hire 10,000 of them over five years in the 75 countries around the world where Starbucks does business."


The new Google logo is displayed at the Google headquarters on September 2, 2015 in Mountain View, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Google joined several other tech companies in denouncing the travel ban. The company's CEO Sundar Pichai criticized the plans and co-founder Sergey Brin took part in protests. Pichai wrote in a memo to staff that the ban affects at least 187 Google employees.

"We're concerned about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that could create barriers to bringing great talent to the U.S.," Google said in a statement, according to USA Today.

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


Elon Musk, Tesla CEO
Drew Angerer | Getty Images

The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla took to Twitter to criticize the travel bans.

"The blanket entry ban on citizens from certain primarily Muslim countries is not the best way to address the country's challenges," he said in a tweet on Sunday.

"Many people negatively affected by this policy are strong supporters of the U.S. They've done right, not wrong and don't deserve to be rejected."

Musk also tweeted a link to the text of Trump's executive order and requested feedback on possible amendments he could try to present to the president.


Jaap Arriens | NurPhoto | Getty Images

The e-commerce company promised to support any of its employees affected by the ban.

"From the very beginning, Amazon has been committed to equal rights, tolerance and diversity — and we always will be," Beth Galetti, vice president of human resources at Amazon, said in a Sunday memo.

"We are committed to supporting all of our employees and anyone in their immediate family who may be impacted by this order, including assistance with legal counsel and support, and will continue to monitor any developments."


Reed Hastings, chief executive officer of Netflix Inc.
Akio Kon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Reed Hastings, the Netflix CEO, posted on Facebook about the ban and called for U.S. citizens to protect American values of freedom and opportunity.

"Trump's actions are hurting Netflix employees around the world, and are so un-American it pains us all. Worse, these actions will make America less safe (through hatred and loss of allies) rather than more safe," he said on Saturday.

"A very sad week, and more to come with the lives of over 600,000 Dreamers here in a America under imminent threat."


Uber founder Travis Kalanick
Danish Siddiqui | Reuters

At the weekend, Uber announced it would create a $3 million defense fund to help cover legal expenses associated with the travel ban.

Travis Kalanick, the taxi app's CEO, posted on Facebook an email sent to drivers affected by the travel ban. The email included a promise of around the clock legal support for drivers, as well as an offer to compensate drivers for lost earnings.

The email called the travel ban "wrong and unjust".


Dado Ruvic | Reuters

Airbnb's U.S. CEO Brian Chesky on Sunday promised free housing for refugees and anyone not allowed in the U.S.

"Not allowing countries or refugees into America is not right, and we must stand with those who are affected," Chesky wrote on Facebook at the weekend.

"Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone else who needs it in the event they are denied the ability to board a U.S.-bound flight and are not in your city/country of residence. We have 3 million homes, so we can definitely find people a place to stay."


Mark Zuckerberg
Stephen Lam | Reuters

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the social media network, posted about the travel ban on Friday.

Writing on Facebook, Zuckerberg described the U.S. as a nation of immigrants and that the country should be proud of the fact.

"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," he said.

"I hope we find the courage and compassion to bring people together and make this world a better place for everyone."


A mascot of TripAdvisor is seen at its display at a trade fair.
Axel Schmidt | Reuters

Steve Kaufer, CEO of TripAdvisor, made a similar point as Mark Zuckerberg in his message about the travel ban.

"The United States is a place where the majority of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents came as immigrants, settled and made a home," he said in a statement.

"Many of us had families that had to flee their countries, restart their lives here with nearly nothing as refugees, and work extraordinarily hard to make a better life for their children. It is unacceptable that our country is now shutting its doors to people in dire need."

Kaufer also took the opportunity to say TripAdvisor has already committed $5 million towards the refugee crisis.


Microsoft General Counsel and Executive Vice President Brad Smith addresses shareholder during Microsoft Shareholders Meeting December 3, 2014 in Bellevue, Washington.
Getty Images

In a statement, the tech company said it was actively working with employees from affected companies to provide them with legal advice and assistance.

In addition, the company's Chief Legal Officer and President, Brad Smith, sent a message to employees saying Micosoft believed in broader immigration opportunities.

"We believe that immigration laws can and should protect the public without sacrificing people's freedom of expression or religion," Smith said in an email on Saturday.

"And we believe in the importance of protecting legitimate and law-abiding refugees whose very lives may be at stake in immigration proceedings."


Dara Khosrowshahi
Matthew Lloyd | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi criticized the travel ban as an example of President Trump's tendency for "rash action versus thoughtfulness".

"Ours is a nation of immigrants. These are our roots, this is our soul. All erased with the stroke of a pen," Khosrowshahi said in a statement.

"As Expedia, Inc. we will do everything we can to protect and help our employees and travelers. That's our job. Hopefully our government can do its job, thoughtfully, and with respect for our immigrant past."