You'd be hard pressed to find any entrepreneur in Silicon Valley--or otherwise--who is in favor of separating immigrant children from their parents at the U.S. border with Mexico.
Tech entrepreneurs and other business leaders early this week issued strong rebukes against the policy, which recently came to light after lawmakers and human rights organizations protested the policy. Some have turned to social media to voice their concerns, while others have made substantial donations to groups working to assist those faced with the threat of deportation.
Airbnb, whose leadership has been particularly vocal in their criticism of the Trump administration, took a strong stance against the administration's impact on the families of undocumented immigrants on Monday. Founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk released a statement on Twitter, calling for the end of the separation of families.
"Ripping children from the arms of their parents is heartless, cruel, immoral, and counter to American values of belonging," reads that statement. "The U.S. government needs to stop this injustice and reunite these families. We are a better country than this."
Politico confirmed Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg both donated an undisclosed amount to an online fundraiser run by Malorie Lucich McGee, plus Charlotte and Dave Willner who initially aimed to raise $1,500 for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services based in San Antonio, Texas. That organization is working to pay the bonds necessary to get parents out of detention and reunite families, as well as ensure legal representation for the children in Texas' immigration courts. The campaign has since raised over $4.3 million, and the goal has been hiked to $5 million.
On Twitter, Jeff Lawson the CEO of Twilio, a cloud communications platform based in San Francisco, took his disdain for the policy even further. "Separating families is basically collective punishment, which is explicitly forbidden by the Geneva Convention. If this were a war in the traditional sense, the U.S. president would be guilty of war crimes. Consider that," Lawson wrote.
Amazon's Jeff Bezos has been vocal about his stance toward immigration, as his father--a Cuban immigrant--came to the U.S as a teenager. He reiterated this message in a tweet on Sunday. Alongside his wife MacKenzie, Bezos donated $33 million to TheDream.us, which helps undocumented students brought to the U.S. as children pay for a college education. He has called for protections to be returned to Dreamers, according to Business Insider.
And while Microsoft has received ample criticism for working with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement--and trying to then scrub that fact from a blog post--its President, Brad Smith, over the weekend, also issued a rebuke of the policy.
On LinkedIn, he wrote:
"This Father's Day provides an opportunity to recall one thing we shouldn't take for granted--the opportunity to be with our children," he notes. "Given the news of migrant children being separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, it's especially poignant this year."