Just a few days in as the country's new president and Donald Trump has already affected the tech industry with at least one of his executive orders. Fortunately, some groups and individuals are stepping up.
Microsoft has offered legal assistance to any of its employees who are affected by this new rule. Lyft, meanwhile, has pledged a total of $1 million to the ACLU.
Trump, who voiced his opposition to immigration since the campaign period, signed an EO that temporarily prevented refugees and immigrants from gaining entry to the United States. The EO also banned passengers belonging to certain predominantly Muslim nations. As Tech Crunch has noted, many of the companies in the tech industry employ people from different parts of the world particularly from those blacklisted in the EO.
After reports of immigrants and even green card holders being held up and interrogated in airports, people started coming in droves to protest Trump's policy. As of this writing, some airports have allowed those with a valid visa to enter the country. The White House also indicated that the ban will no longer include green card holders.
Microsoft Helps Its Own
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, is against the travel ban against immigrants and has posted his stance on social media. Furthermore, Microsoft will be providing legal help to all its employees that will be affected by the ban. Microsoft estimates 76 percent of its employees are affected by the Trump EO and that it is intent on helping each one of them should the need arise.
Despite the controversy, Microsoft has maintained its focus on tasks at hand. It has stated that the Surface brand earned $1.3 billion in sales in Q4 last year while the company is also working on a new pair of Hololens smart glasses that is meant for construction workers.
Lyft Parts With $1 million For A Good Cause
The American Civil Liberties Union or ACLU is getting ample support from numerous benefactors including some from the tech industry. Lyft, in particular, has donated a total of $1 million to the organization as a sign of protest against the supposed "banning [of] people of a particular faith or creed, race or identity, sexuality or ethnicity" from getting access into the country. According to Fortune, the amount will be paid in the next four years.
Lyft is currently trailing Uber as the top ride-sharing company around but is bound to get more positive attention for its strong statement against Trump's immigration ban. The #DeleteUber has also been trending because of the latter's supposed support for Trump.
The company recently introduced the Lyft Events feature which provides rides for attendees of an event the user is organizing.