Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has promised to use the full resources of his heavyweight internet company to fight the Trump administration’s immigration ban, instituted last Friday. Bezos pledged in an email to employees on Monday, to use all available resources to fight and lobby against the ban.
Amazon has its headquarters in Washington state, where the state’s attorney general has become the first to take legal action against Trump over the ban. Supporting this effort will be an important way for Amazon to support the fight against the ban.
Excerpts of the Bezos email were published by Recode, in which Bezos outlines some of the company’s plans to fight the ban.
“We reached out to congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to explore legislative options. Our legal team has prepared a declaration of support for the Washington state attorney general who will be filing suit against the order. We are working other legal options as well,” Bezos said in the email.
The statement to employees follows the company’s first statement on Saturday. That statement stood against the ban, but offered fewer details, saying that “from the very beginning, Amazon has been committed to equal rights, tolerance and diversity – and we always will be.”
The Saturday statement also urged Amazon employees from the 7 countries affected by the ban to not leave the US, offering legal resources for those employees and their immediate families.
Silicon Valley employs numerous workers from the seven countries, relying on the H-1B visa, which brings roughly 65,000 skilled workers to the US annually. Amazon was not the only tech company to take a strong stance against the ban. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared a post on Friday saying he was concerned that “millions of undocumented folks who don’t pose a threat will live in fear of deportation.”
Airbnb’s Brian Chesky said the company would provide “free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US.”
Since the Amazon announcement, a number of other Washington state based companies have similar plans to support the attorney general’s action. Expedia chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, who is an Iranian immigrant, signed on to support the action against the ban. On Sunday, he said to employees:
“The president’s order represents the worst of his proclivity toward 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.”
Reuters reported that Microsoft is supporting the state’s action by providing information about the effects of the ban.