Google creates $4 million crisis fund to help people hit by US visa ban

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has created a $4 million crisis fund to help four organisations working to help people hit by US President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Highlight StoryThe fund has a corpus of $2 million that can be matched with up to $2 million in donations from employees, totalling $4 million, USA Today reported.(AFP File Photo)

 

The fund has a corpus of $2 million that can be matched with up to $2 million in donations from employees, totalling $4 million, USA Today reported.

It is intended to benefit the American Civil Liberties Union, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee and UNHCR, which are helping immigrants.

The campaign was disclosed in a memo sent by Pichai and confirmed by a Google spokeswoman late on Sunday. This is Google’s largest crisis campaign ever and company executives are also giving money individually to the cause, the report said.

The grant came a day after Pichai strongly objected to Trump’s controversial immigration ban and company co-founder Sergey Brin joined a protest at San Francisco international airport.

Executives at Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, Uber, Airbnb and Tesla Motors have already criticised the ban, which was temporarily stalled by a federal judge in New York on Saturday.

Trump’s order could disrupt the businesses of major tech companies, which rely heavily on foreign-born workers. In a staff memo, Pichai said the move affects at least 187 of the search giant’s staff.

“We’re concerned about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that could create barriers to bringing great talent to the US,” Google said in a statement.

“We’ll continue to make our views on these issues known to leaders in Washington and elsewhere.”

Trump’s order suspended the entry of all refugees to the US for 120 days, indefinitely halted the admission of refugees from Syria and also barred the entry of immigrants from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen for three months.

Tech and other companies have taken actions to help people hit by the ban. Starbucks said it will hire 10,000 refugees over five years around the world and Airbnb said it will find free, temporary places for refugees to stay in.

 

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