Donald Trump’s tenure as President of the United States was never going to be free from controversy. Following his command to prohibit citizens from seven majority-Muslim nations from visiting the United States, condemnation was swift – finding protests breaking out across the country. In the time the ban was in place, up to “60,000 foreigners…had their visas cancelled because of the executive order” according to the State Department.
With the ban having now been blocked by a federal judge, the world is watching as to what Trump’s next move shall be. Many have been quick to distant themselves from the president’s actions, with some American firms and tech businesses taking an active stance against them.
Nearly 100 tech companies, including names such as Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google, have signed their support to a legal brief that challenges the US President’s orders. This brief takes the stance that the roadblocks in place for migrants could prevent such firms from hiring top talent in the future.
Several apps were also quick to offer their support to individuals from affected countries. Airbnb pledged to provide free housing to any who were stranded or affected by the impact of the ban. They actively searched for property owners who could temporarily accommodate refugees or any other individual denied the ability to travel to the US. CEO and founder Brian Chesky vowed that “the doors to America shall remain open, and any that are locked will not be for long.”
Instant messaging application Viber is another network giant lending a voice to those impinged by the immigration ban. The company announced it would waive any fees generated from calls made between the USA and the countries weighed down by the order – emphasised by their Tweet: “We connect people. No matter who they are or where they’re from.”
Several airlines also got involved in assisting people affected by the ban, with British Airways making offers of refunds to customers. Virgin Atlantic is another airline company that has also made allowances for passengers, allowing them to rebook, change their flight or request a full refund.
However, some naysayers may be quick to put down the intentions of companies such as Facebook, BA and Virgin. In the light of the fake news scandal, many media organisations are quickly aiming to re-establish their reputations as reliable and principled businesses. But some may argue that companies should be focussing on issues closer to home, with BA staff engaging in even more strikes over pay, and Virgin still keeping its name tied to online gambling services such as Virgin casino slots.
With Trump’s travel ban still being weighed the court of appeals, there is uncertainty as to whether it shall be enforced yet again. If there is one thing to take away from the whole debate, it is that certain American stalwarts stand united in the crusade to keep America’s borders open. All eyes are on America, and only time can decide the outcome.