Following the executive order by Donald Trump for temporarily halting the admission of refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries, Microsoft last week said that they will be providing legal assistance to its employees affected by the issue.
“We believe that immigration laws can and should protect the public without sacrificing people’s freedom of expression or religion. And we believe in the importance of protecting legitimate and law-abiding refugees whose very lives may be at stake in immigration proceedings,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft President and chief legal officer in a blog post published last week.
Following the criticism from some group of people, Microsoft issued a more strongly-worded statement in response to the Jan. 27 executive order on immigration:
“We believe the executive order is misguided and a fundamental step backwards. There are more effective ways to protect public safety without creating so much collateral damage to the country’s reputation and values.”
Yesterday, Microsoft joined Amazon and Expedia in Washington State’s legal suit against the executive order launched in Seattle federal court. Today, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hosted an employee Q&A where he offered more personal remarks on this issue. Read it below.
“I always come back to two things. One is the enduring principles and values that drive us as a company, that have made us and this country what it is, and my own personal story.
There is no place for bias or bigotry in any society, in any context. That’s where we start from. We will always as a company stand for that diversity and inclusion. And we’ll keep pushing at it, pushing at it, and making progress. That’s core to who we are. That I believe is core to what America is.
I mean, think about it, I am a product of the fundamental greatness of the United States. It is the ingenuity of the American technology that reached me where I was growing up that even made it possible for me to dream of being able to be part of this journey. It is the enlightened immigration policy of this country that even made it possible for me to come here in the first place, and gave me all this opportunity.
And so I always think about that. I will always advocate for that America that I know and that I’ve experienced.
And we will do that consistently. We’re not going to overreact because of any one incident, but we will always stand for what we believe are these enduring principles that really are going to be about us as a company, but also recognizing that we’re a multinational company that is an American company.”
Microsoft also mentioned that they will continue to work directly with employees and their families affected by the executive order, including providing them with legal and other assistance. And Microsoft will continue to advocate strongly on these issues with the Administration and with Congress.