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Tech CEOs are 'doing the right thing' in protesting Trump's travel ban, Aspen's Isaacson says

Walter Isaacson
David Orrell | CNBC
Walter Isaacson

Technology leaders are right to protest immigration policies that "destroy" their place in the global economy, Walter Isaacson said.

Over the weekend, the technology industry widely condemned President Donald Trump's executive order to temporarily ban inbound travel for immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen — and temporarily halt the entry of refugees into the United States.

"They're doing the right thing morally, they're doing the right thing economically, and they're doing the right thing for their shareholders and their company," Walter Isaacson, president of the Aspen Institute and a biographer of Steve Jobs, told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Monday. "You can't have a thriving tech industry that's not integrated into the world economy."

Technology CEOs scrambled over the weekend to provide legal assistance to their affected employees, despite recent meetings with the president to discuss issues such as immigration. Isaacson said the technology industry is still likely to win on a big issue, a tax holiday on repatriation of foreign cash.

"I think these meetings are just window dressings," Isaacson. "Sure you have a meeting with the president when he asks ... but I don't thing it affects things much."