While wireless carriers have been mum about President Trump’s controversial executive order on immigration, many tech-industry leaders have come out against it, with Nokia being perhaps the most vocal among traditional wireless vendors.
Amazon’s legal team is supporting the Washington state attorney general in filing suit against the order, and Google created its largest crisis fund ever to support organizations fighting the order. Google co-founder and Alphabet President Sergey Brin joined an impromptu protest at San Francisco International Airport over the weekend, and executives at Apple, Microsoft, Tesla Motors and more have denounced the policy.
Meanwhile, the European-based GSM Association (GSMA) is gearing up for the wireless industry’s largest trade show, Mobile World Congress 2017, in Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 27-March 2. The show attracted more than 100,000 visitors from 204 countries last year.
The GSMA did not have a statement on the U.S. immigration policy, but recommended contacting its members directly. Of those contacted, Nokia provided the strongest commentary to date.
In a statement, Nokia acknowledged that Trump on Friday signed an executive order suspending entry of refugees into the United States for 120 days, barring Syrian refugees indefinitely, blocking entry of citizens from seven predominately Muslim countries for 90 days and barring existing green card holders from those countries from re-entering the U.S.
“Not only is this action disruptive to so many law-abiding people, it is inconsistent with the values that we hold dear at Nokia. We believe in openness. We believe in facts. We believe in diversity. We believe in the power of global sharing of ideas and culture. We believe that we are stronger together, not broken into parts,” the company said in statement provided to FierceWirelessTech.
“Given this, while we are still assessing the impact of this order on Nokia employees, we are committed to providing legal support to those who have been barred from entry or separated from their families or workplace,” Nokia said.
Ericsson, whose worldwide headquarters is based in Sweden, provided this statement: “We are an export company with a small home market and with business in 180 countries, therefore open trade and freedom of movement are important principles to us. However, it is too early to speculate on what the new administration's decisions will mean.”
Intel posted a statement on its website: “We are providing support to potentially impacted employees, all of whom are in this country lawfully. As a company co-founded by an immigrant, we continue to support lawful immigration. We will continue to provide any impacted employees with Intel’s full support.”
More than 2,000 Google employees in offices around the world staged a walkout on Monday afternoon in protest of Trump’s executive order, The Verge reported.
At Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, CEO Sundar Pichai, who was born in India, and Brin, who moved to the U.S. from Russia as a child, participated in a protest after employees donated more than $2 million to a crisis fund to support nonprofit groups working to support refugees. More than 100 Google staff were reported to be directly affected by the president’s decision.
According to Reuters, an internal Department of Homeland Security document showed 348 visa holders were kept from boarding U.S.-bound flights this week, and more than 200 people came to the United States but were denied entry.
More than 735 people were pulled aside for questioning by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at airports, including 394 green card holders, who are legal permanent residents of the United States, the document said.