USA: CEOs speak out against Trump Administration policy of separating migrant & asylum seeking families
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Author: Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times
"As U.S. airlines resist flying immigrant children taken from parents, Volaris offers to reunite families," 22 June 2018
Several of the nation’s biggest airlines, including American and United... notified the U.S. government... that they wished to have no part in transporting those children to detention centers after they were taken from their parents after crossing the U.S. southern border... Volaris, the low-cost Mexican airline, announced that it was going one step further. The carrier said it would offer free seats on its planes to reunite those children with their families in Mexico and Central America. “Since its founding, Volaris’ mission has been to unite families,” the airline said in a statement. “Families belong together and our commitment is to help them stay together to better build their future.”... The airline has yet to be contacted by immigrant families to take advantage of the offer, but the carrier plans to spread its message over the next few weeks on social media, Volaris spokeswoman Ana Ambrosi said. Volaris, which operates out of Mexico, the U.S., Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala, has already contacted Mexico’s Foreign Ministry to offer its help.
Author: Carleton English, The New York Post
American Airlines and others do not want the US government using their fleets to transport migrant children torn from their families as a result of the Trump administration's controversial border policy..."We bring families together, not apart," American Airlines said in a strongly worded statement Wednesday hours before President Trump signed an executive order to halt the practice of splitting families....Since the policy was enacted, more than 2,000 children have been separated from their parents. While many of the children are in facilities in South Texas, some have been sent to other locations in the US. The Post reported Wednesday, citing federal sources, that 300 migrant children are headed to New York City in the next week. Other airlines, including United Airlines and Southwest Airlines, also issued statements Wednesday echoing American Airlines' sentiments.
Author: Jackie Wattles & Rene Marsh, CNN Money
US airlines on Wednesday spoke out against the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy that resulted in the separation of migrant children from their families. American Airlines, United Airlines and Frontier Airlines all issued statements in the hours before President Donald Trump backed down and signed an executive order to end the controversial policy. Delta Air Lines (DAL) commended Trump for reversing course. American, United and Frontier earlier on Wednesday asked the federal government not to use their planes to transport migrant children after they're taken from their parents. American Airlines said it has "no desire to be associated with separating families, or worse, to profit from it. We have every expectation the government will comply with our request and we thank them for doing so."
... Frontier said in a brief statement posted to Twitter that it "will not knowingly allow our flights to be used to transport migrant children away from their families."... United Airlines () said it has "serious concerns" about the immigration policy, and said it has "contacted federal officials to inform them that they should not transport immigrant children on United aircraft who have been separated from their parents."
Author: Jena McGregor, Washington Post
... [T]ech CEOs, including Uber's Dara Khosrowshahi, Twitter's Jack Dorsey and Google's Sundar Pichai weighed in [regarding the Trump Administration's practice of separating families] with tweets, and Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky called for "an immediate end to the policy." Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein called it "tragic" while saying "it’s easy to say what you would do if you didn’t have to bear the consequences for what you decided." Business Roundtable immigration committee chair Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco Systems, said in a tweet that the practice was "cruel and contrary to American values."
... Observers who study the recent wave of "CEO activism"... say Corporate America has been slower to respond to the current crisis than to past ones... According to data tracked by the communications firm Weber Shandwick, 153 CEOs and companies spoke out about the travel ban early last year, and 62 companies made remarks supporting the "Dreamers" last fall... [O]n the issue of the separation of children and parents at the border, Leslie Gaines-Ross, Weber Shandwick's chief reputation strategist, said..."I’m a bit surprised that so few companies have spoken up at this point."... She and others point to several possible reasons the issue didn't take hold with companies as quickly... One could be because the separation of children and families raises moral questions, and it's harder for companies to issue the kind of lawyer-scrubbed statements about corporate values like diversity, equality or sustainability that many have used before... Business contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement have complicated the matter for some. Microsoft faced outrage from some on social media for saying it was "proud to support" ICE's I.T. modernization in a January blog post. It followed up with a statement, which read in part: "In response to questions we want to be clear: Microsoft is not working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or U.S. Customs and Border Protection on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border.
Author: Lila MacLellan, Quartz at Work
The US government and the general public are beginning to hear from corporate leaders about the shockingly cruel policy of separating families at the US-Mexico border... in the past 24 hours, a handful of business executives—primarily from the tech world—have come forward to condemn the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy... Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian took to Twitter and called a video from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “reprehensible.” Jeff Lawson, CEO and cofounder of software maker Twilio, published a Medium post titled “Separating immigrant families isn’t just wrong, it’s a war crime.” ... Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter, took advantage of his own platform to solicit ideas for what could be done to #KeepFamiliesTogether... Bastian Lehmann, founder and CEO of Postmates... joined the chorus on Tuesday, suggesting that the New York Times assist readers as they consider their voting options for the midterm elections by listing the Congressional representatives who have supported the “zero tolerance” policy... Amy Bohutinsky, COO of real estate giant Zillow [tweeted]... "I can’t help thinking that if my dad – who was a 9 yr old immigrant – was separated or lost from his parents, how differently his life and mine would have turned out. We are better than this." Many other executives, even those who have taken public stances on social issues in the past, are still missing... [According to] Twilio’s Lawson, "As a tech leader and public CEO, I’m often advised to stay apolitical,” he wrote on Medium. “But this isn’t politics, I believe this is a matter of objective right and wrong. Staying silent doesn’t feel like leadership to me. I encourage other leaders to consider the cost of silence.”
Author: Danielle Wiener-Bronner, CNN Money
CEOs have started to speak against the separation of children from their families at the US border. "Separating a child from a mother or father is not political. It is inhumane," Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya said in a statement... AirBnB co-founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczyk said "the US government needs to stop this injustice."... Apple CEO Tim Cook told the Irish Times that the practice is "inhumane" and "heartbreaking."... Facebook (FB)CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg both donated to a fundraiser raising money for The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, a nonprofit that offers legal aid to immigrant families in Texas. Facebook did not yet make an official statement. Microsoft (MSFT)issued a statement on Monday after it was criticized for working with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the group that is enforcing the policy. "We urge the administration to change its policy and Congress to pass legislation ensuring children are no longer separated from their families," Microsoft said.
On Twitter, Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk said "I hope the kids are ok." After a user asked him to "make a more powerful statement," he said "if there is some way for me to help these kids, I will do so."... Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein touched upon the crisis in a speech at the Economic Club of New York... he referenced the "horrible tragic situation" on the Southern US border, which he called a "tragedy."... Nicholas Peters, senior vice president of CommCore Consulting Group, said that companies have to be careful when commenting on such a fraught issue as immigration. "I think they're waiting a little bit to see how this plays out," he said.
In response to questions we want to be clear: Microsoft is not working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or U.S. Customs and Border Protection on any projects related to separating children from their families at the border, and contrary to some speculation, we are not aware of Azure or Azure services being used for this purpose. As a company, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border. Family unification has been a fundamental tenet of American policy and law since the end of World War II. As a company Microsoft has worked for over 20 years to combine technology with the rule of law to ensure that children who are refugees and immigrants can remain with their parents. We need to continue to build on this noble tradition rather than change course now. We urge the administration to change its policy and Congress to pass legislation ensuring children are no longer separated from their families.
Author: San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
What is occurring at our southern border is not a security measure. A successful border management plan has nothing to do with separating children from their parents. This has to do with our broken immigration system. It is time for our nation's leaders to take action to resolve immigration policies, find a solution for Dreamers, and most importantly, end the separation of minor children from their parents. The Chamber has long supported comprehensive immigration reform with the understanding that, as a nation built by immigrants, our global competitiveness and economic growth depend on the exchange of people for new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship... It is time for the Administration to do the right thing and end the separation of families seeking asylum in our country.
Twilio CEO calls separating immigrant families a war crime & urges other leaders to consider the cost of silence
Author: Jeff Lawson, medium.com
"Separating immigrant families isn't just wrong, it's a war crime," 18 June 2018
Intentionally separating families is objectively wrong, and we must fight it vigorously. No matter what excuses are made, let’s call this what it is: collective punishment. The practice of punishing family members is not just morally offensive, it’s also a war crime under the Geneva Accord. We are punishing children for the possibility that their parents have committed a minor crime (a misdemeanor actually), or no crime at all — in the case of amnesty seekers... [L]et’s call this what it is — bigotry, xenophobia, and now — war crimes perpetrated by Americans on American soil against Latin Americans... [T]his is not a war on immigration, this is a war on immigrants. Separating children is just the newest development in the war on immigrants our government has been waging for the last 18 months. From ICE raids nabbing long time residents spreading fear within law abiding communities, to rescinding the citizenship of naturalized citizens.
... As a tech leader and public CEO, I’m often advised to stay apolitical. But this isn’t politics, I believe this is a matter of objective right and wrong. Staying silent doesn’t feel like leadership to me. I encourage other leaders to consider the cost of silence.
Author: Thomas Donohue, US Chamber of Commerce
"Separating children from families must end now," 19 June 2018
Thousands of children are being forcibly removed from their parents by our government... [T]his is not who we are and it must end now. Policymakers in Washington are accustomed to hearing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce opine about the economics of particular policies. But public policy is often also a reflection of a nation’s values. That is certainly the case when it comes to immigration policy and in particular with respect to three immigration matters that require the urgent attention of our elected officials: ending the separation of minor children from their parents, permanent protection for Dreamers, and permanent relief for long-term beneficiaries of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program... The recent policy change requiring the immediate detention and misdemeanor prosecution of anyone crossing the border illegally – so-called zero tolerance – has already resulted in the forcible separation of nearly 2,000 children from their parents. Facilities to house these children are so overcrowded that the administration has built a “tent city” to house additional minors. Parents are being told if they plead guilty and drop any claim of asylum they can be reunited more quickly with their children. The administration adopted this policy as a way of deterring illegal entry into the U.S. Some administration officials reportedly view the policy of separating children from their parents as leverage to gain other immigration policy changes from Congress... The Chamber could provide you with plenty of statistics and detailed analysis as to why we need to keep Dreamers and TPS beneficiaries living and working here to help our economy grow. There is, however, something more fundamental at stake: whether our nation’s policies will reflect our values or run in direct contradiction to them.