Apple was founded by the son of an immigrant and the company wouldn’t exist without immigration, chief executive Tim Cook told students in Scotland on Wednesday, restating his strong opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order.
Last month, Trump issued an executive order temporarily banning entry to the U.S. for citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations. The order has since been challenged and suspended in the U.S. courts after the state of Washington successfully got the ban overturned.
In addition to this, the technology industry has supported the legal challenge to Trump’s order. Over 100 tech companies, including Apple, were named in an amicus brief in support of the state of Washington.
Cook told a group of students at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate of science, about the ban affecting Apple’s employees and the broader country.
“If we stand and say nothing, it’s as if we’re agreeing,” Cook said.
“Apple would not exist without immigration. This is a huge issue for us … we stand up, we don’t sit in silence.”
The Apple CEO also referenced the late founder Steve Jobs, who was the son of Abdulfattah Jandali, who was born in Syria.
“Steve was the son of an immigrant. Our company has immigrants in it that are key to the innovation of our company. Our company depends on diversity … diversity of thought, and people generally have diverse views … it’s the tapestry of getting people with all different backgrounds and all different point of views that are able to create the best products,” Cook said.
It’s not the first time Cook has been vocal about Trump’s immigration order. In a letter to staff, Cook said during his time meeting with officials in Washington, he “made it clear that Apple believes deeply in the importance of immigration”, adding that it is not a policy he supports.
Despite the 120-day immigration ruling – which has been dubbed a “Muslim ban” – being on hold for now thanks to the courts, Trump has vowed to have it reinstated. The U.S. President said the courts blocking his order “seem to be so political”.
In his Glasgow talk, Cook called on richer countries to help those in need.
“I personally believe that the wealthier countries have the responsibility to accept people that are fleeing civil war. It’s a reasonable argument for people to have about to what degree. It’s also very reasonable for people to say that we’re not doing enough for people in our country today. And I think that’s also true. I just don’t think that it’s a trade, one for the other. I think the U.S. can do both,” Cook said.