Apple CEO Tim Cook, other U.S. CEOs warn of harm from Trump administration’s immigration policy

“A group of chief executive officers at the largest U.S. companies expressed serious concern about the Trump administration’s immigration policy and said the rules increase uncertainty and undermine economic growth,” Reuters reports. “In the letter signed by 59 CEOs including Tim Cook of Apple Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co’s Jamie Dimon and Doug Parker of American Airlines, the executives said that many of their employees were now facing uncertainty due to issues such as ‘inconsistent immigration decisions’ that would likely curtail work permits for spouses of skilled immigrants.”

“‘As the federal government undertakes its legitimate review of immigration rules, it must avoid making changes that disrupt the lives of thousands of law-abiding and skilled employees, and that inflict substantial harm on U.S. competitiveness,’ the CEOs said in a letter dated Wednesday,” Reuters reports. “‘At a time when the number of job vacancies are reaching historic highs due to labor shortages, now is not the time restrict access to talent,’ the letter added.”

“Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen… told reporters at a White House briefing on Thursday that the administration was only strictly enforcing the law,” Reuters reports. ‘This administration did not create a policy of separating families… What has changed is that we no longer exempt entire classes of people who break the law,’ she said.”

Read more in the full article here.

“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration director Francis Cissna, talking to a group pushing for reductions in numbers of foreign workers and immigrants, cited ‘all sorts of fraud and abuse’ in the H-1B program that many Silicon Valley companies rely on for highly skilled workers and ‘across all these programs,'” Ethan Baron reports for The Mercury News. “The H-1B visa, intended for foreign workers doing specialized jobs has become a flashpoint in the immigration debate, with firms arguing it should be expanded beyond the annual 85,000 new visas so they can acquire the world’s top talent, and critics pointing to reported abuses and asserting the visa is used to replace Americans with cheaper, foreign workers.”

“Cissna said he wanted elected representatives to take action on the H-1B,” Baron reports. “‘I would really love it if Congress would just pass a one-sentence provision that would just prohibit American workers in being replaced by H-1B workers,’ Cissna said in a talk last week to the Center for Immigration Studies, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. People trying to ‘game’ the immigration system is an ‘eternal problem’ for officials, he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: The Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies.

The following editorial was published by The New York Times‘ Editorial Board, June 16, 2016, five months prior to the 2016 U.S. Presidential election:

Visa Abuses Harm American Workers

There is no doubt that H-1B visas — temporary work permits for specially talented foreign professionals — are instead being used by American employers to replace American workers with cheaper foreign labor. Abbott Laboratories, the health care conglomerate based in Illinois, recently became the latest large American company to use the visas in this way, following the lead of other employers, including Southern California Edison, Northeast Utilities (now Eversource Energy), Disney, Toys “R” Us and New York Life.

The visas are supposed to be used only to hire college-educated foreigners in “specialty occupations” requiring “highly specialized knowledge,” and only when such hiring will not depress prevailing wages. But in many cases, laid-off American workers have been required to train their lower-paid replacements.

Lawmakers from both parties have denounced the visa abuse, but it is increasingly widespread, mainly because of loopholes in the law. For example, in most instances, companies that hire H-1B workers are not required to recruit Americans before hiring from overseas. Similarly, companies are able to skirt the rules for using H-1B workers by outsourcing the actual hiring of those workers to Tata, Infosys and other temporary staffing firms, mostly based in India.

Criticism of the visa process has been muted, and reform has moved slowly, partly because laid-off American workers — mostly tech employees replaced by Indian guest workers — have not loudly protested. Their reticence does not mean acceptance or even resignation. As explained in The Times on Sunday by Julia Preston, most of the displaced workers had to sign agreements prohibiting them from criticizing their former employers as a condition of receiving severance pay. The gag orders have largely silenced the laid-off employees, while allowing the employers to publicly defend their actions as legal, which is technically accurate, given the loopholes in the law.

The conversation, however, is changing. Fourteen former tech workers at Abbott, including one who forfeited a chunk of severance pay rather than sign a so-called nondisparagement agreement, have filed federal claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission saying they were discriminated against because of their ages and American citizenship. Tech workers from Disney have filed federal lawsuits accusing the company and two global outsourcing firms of colluding to supplant Americans with H-1B workers. Former employees of Eversource Energy have also begun to challenge their severance-related gag orders by publicly discussing their dismissals and replacement by foreign workers on H-1B and other visas.

Congressional leaders of both parties have questioned the nondisparagement agreements. Bipartisan legislation in the Senate would revise visa laws to allow former employees to protest their layoffs. Beyond that, what Congress really needs to do is close the loopholes that allow H-1B abuses.

The New York Times‘ Editorial Board, June 16, 2016

New U.S. government data on H-1B visas prove that IT outsourcers hire a lot but pay very little – August 1, 2017
U.S. law allows low H-1B wages; just look at Apple – May 16, 2017
President Trump to order review of H-1B visa program to encourage hiring Americans – April 18, 2017
Tech industry frets over possible H-1B visa program changes under President Trump – January 28, 2017
President Trump eyes an H-1B visa aimed at ‘best and brightest’ – January 27, 2017
Silicon Valley chiefs frozen out of President Trump’s White House – December 3, 2016
Silicon Valley uncertain after Donald Trump wins U.S. presidency – November 10, 2016
Silicon Valley donated 60 times more to Clinton than to Trump – November 7, 2016
99% of Silicon Valley’s political dollars are going to Hillary Clinton – October 25, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook and the rest of Silicon Valley throw big money at Clinton and pretty much bupkis at Trump – August 23, 2016
Donald Trump’s most unlikely supporter: Silicon Valley billionaire Pete Thiel – July 21, 2016
Tech investor Peter Thiel’s embrace of Donald Trump for U.S. President has Silicon Valley squirming – July 20, 2016
An open letter from Apple co-founder Woz, other techies on Donald Trump’s candidacy for U.S. President – July 14, 2016
Apple refuses to aid 2016 GOP presidential convention over Trump comments – June 18, 2016
Apple and Silicon Valley employees love Bernie Sanders. Donald Trump? Not so much – May 6, 2016


    1. Do you ever stop to think before your post, GoeB? I challenge you to provide just one instance of an “illegal voter registration drive”! Such a thing in nonsensical, since undocumented aliens are not allowed to register, much less vote. I am not saying that it never happens, but all evidence points to the fact that it is nearly nonexistent despite radical GOP claims of “millions of illegal voters.” Those claims have been thoroughly debunked time and time again.

      So let’s get to the core of the issue…legal immigration. You know, the process that Trump used for two of his wives and now the latest wife’s family? The core of the issue is who is allowed to legally immigrate to the U.S. Elitists like Trump want to pick and choose the people that they want and exclude the people from “****hole countries” or countries in which the primary religion is not Christian. The Trump Administration is not even honoring the U.S. commitment for citizenship to foreigners who assisted the U.S. military in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

      Face it – this is not truly about legal and illegal. That is just a rallying cry for the GOP base. This is really about control over legal immigration – how many and who.

      1. You have conflated “millions of illegal voters” with illegal immigrants voting. So be it. Illegal votes are the dead, felons, non-registered, double votes and out of district voters. they could also be illegal immigrants.

        However illegal immigrant voters are more like this

        But let’s get past this. Were Trump’s wives illegal immigrants?

        Also you are confusing elitist with common sense. Do you want to see more people immigrate from Haiti than India? Syria or Taiwan? A country infested with AIDS and Ebola or Scandinavians?

        Now let’s also wonder why Obama pretty much excluded Christians from ISIS held territories even when it was well known their religion was cause for death while letting undocumented Muslims in.

        In short, I wonder if your post has anything to do with reality instead of partisan bickering to one-up the other side.

        Careful with your reply if you choose, because these are traps. Normally I don’t throw that tidbit out but in your defense I doubt you can resist the knee-jerk retort.

    2. Build a wall — deport deport deport ALL 30+ million illegal aliens.

      Illegally crossing our borders is a crime, so ALL 30+ million illegal aliens are criminals by definition.

      There are currently 90 million eligible Americans out of work.

      Millions of college graduates are aqueezed out of work in their field by the H-visa programs.

      ‘Legal’ immigration should be limited to meet only the desired rate of ‘natural’ growth hindered by our Marxist-Democrat ‘Pro-choice policy sold as a path to ‘equality’ but is really a means of government mandated population control.

        1. Godless? That is an interesting term. Are you claiming that their is no God for atheists, agnostics, and those of other faiths than yours? Because that would violate the very basis of your faith, I believe…

          Regardless, the U.S. Constitution protects freedom of religion, and that includes the right to *not* practice religion. The fact that you disdain that particular aspect of the Constitution demonstrates that you are not the patriot you profess to be. You are not interested in the true implementation of democracy as envisioned and codified by the founders of this country. Instead, you strive for the version of democracy that is tailored and twisted to suit your particular viewpoint. You will likely deny that, but you know deep down that it is true. And, before you vehemently protest and start calling me names, consider the sins that you will be committing…so many sins.

          1. Sorry, but the Democratic party lost its right to claim faith/God when they endorse, celebrated, and actively participated in the booing of His name at their national gathering:

            Or their demonizing Tib Tebow for quetly taking a knew in payers a few years ago; yet celebrating the national felons league for kneeling during the national anthem.

            Sorry, you cannot have it both ways. Choose a side, and face the consequences.

      1. I think it might have to be a spectacle mass murder situation before the chump mentions prayers, like he did at Parkland.

        “My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.”

        — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2018

      2. Looks like the chump and Tim Cook follow a similar guideline.

        “We pray for the victims of today’s shooting in Florida, for their families and loved ones, and for an end to the senseless violence that has taken so many innocent lives.”

        — Tim Cook (@tim_cook) February 15, 2018

      3. Yup, it looks like Tim is full of prayers when it comes to mass situations, can’t say I’ve found anything on specific individuals like Molly Tibbetts, who died tragically for sure.

        Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends, customers, coworkers and all the people of Belgium.

        — Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 22, 2016

        Prayers for Paris, the victims and their loved ones. Nous sommes tous Parisiens.

        — Tim Cook (@tim_cook) November 14, 2015

        Prayers, condolences, and hope for all those affected by the bombings in Turkey.

        — Tim Cook (@tim_cook) October 12, 2015

        Then again MDN hasn’t put up a heading on this topic.

          1. Once again.

            You are most welcome TxUser, and let me thank you for being so patient and keeping to the moral high ground for you’ve certainly received a copious amount of similar toxic smoke. While I don’t personally care as I have to capacity to laugh it off, I do care about the MDN community and I am chagrined by seeing this constant barrage of malicious comments directed to various members of the MDN community by a singular poster.

            It’s also a reflection on MDN, as they are letting the situation persist in spite of their prior statement: “Suffice to say, if you’re an off-topic poster or just issuing ad hominem attacks, you will be moderated and your posts will be removed. If you continue, you will be banned and your screen name will become unusable, so you’ll be forfeiting your identity, too.”

            You and I may differ on a number of topics, but as I’ve said before I appreciate the way you offer your viewpoints because you have been respectful to me and I appreciate that.

  1. So what does our immigration policy for legal immigrants have to do with illegal aliens??

    Hopefully they will cut out loopholes and streamline regular immigration to make it more consistent and easier to understand, less hassle and confusion.

    Want to make it about attracting professional so companies like Apple can benefit? OK, have a point system with certain degrees or trades at the highest and these points put you at the top of the list. They can change this every few years according to economic outlook. At the same time, salaries must be equal for immigrants and Americans with the same qualities.

    I am so tired of immigration being a flash point for politics, but then Democrats have very little to offer middle class America anymore so they go this route (since ObamaCare turned out to be pie in the sky like so many knew it would).

    1. The nature of your question is, at its core, ridiculous. The very fact of being an illegal alien means that one would actively seek to remain unnoticed and anonymous. How, then, would one effectively document the contribution of illegal aliens in any comprehensive and systematic manner?

      But, perhaps that question should be investigated in another way, by expanding your query to include American citizens descended from illegal aliens. I strongly suspect that you will find a great many material contributions from the descendants of illegal aliens.

      1. Interesting flip.

        But maybe we should continue the question in the same vein.
        Should we continue to allow illegals to cross at will in hopes that their descendants become contributors instead of takers?

        And what makes that any difference than if they were to immigrate legally?

        Here’s an idea….treat Mexico the same way we treat any other nation, including the fact that if an illegal flies in from Europe he is deported and not taken to court then released and asked to check in later.

        How’s that??

  2. There should not be a SINGLE H-1B visa issued while there is a SINGLE qualified individual looking for skilled technical work in this country. I for one would be very happy to see the H-1B program put on moratorium for at least 5 years so that American workers can get back to work.

    1. Having qualified workers in the country isn’t the same as having fit applicants who are willing to relocate to the job site and work for the prevailing wage. For example, the Trump resort in Florida has to bring in workers with green cards because there are not enough qualified Americans applying for the jobs.

      Apple isn’t just an American company. It is a multinational that earns about 60% of its revenue outside the US. It is a benefit to the company when it can move workers from place to place without worrying about their nationality. It is a burden when one country makes international transfers exceptionally difficult.

      Arguing for changes in the rules for legal immigration does not mean that the advocate favors open borders or a slowdown in enforcing the rules against illegal immigration. The two issues are not logically connected.

  3. “Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen… told reporters at a White House briefing on Thursday that the administration was only strictly enforcing the law,”

    The administration must also be seen to strictly observe the law themselves. Multiple people who were previously close to the president have now pleaded guilty to breaking the law and the president doesn’t hesitate to attack the justice system when those who are still his friends get brought to justice. Does the rule of law now only apply to other people?

    Even the concept of truth is being routinely and cynically undermined by the president’s spokespeople.

    That’s not the America that I recognise and came to admire. How can once-proud Americans have allowed matters to descend to such a shamefully low level?

    1. “Multiple people who were previously close to the president have now pleaded guilty to breaking the law“

      Yes, and they will be dealt with accordingly.

      The rest of your post is guilt by association and no facts to implicate the president …

      1. You have a president who routinely lies in public. It’s as simple as that, it’s not alternate facts, or a matter of interpretation, it’s telling lies. He’s a proven liar and is regularly seen to tell lies, thousands of them.

        One example is when he recently visited England. In a rally afterwards, he claimed that The Queen kept him waiting for five minutes and the hostile press tried to make it look like he was the one who rudely kept her waiting. He overlooks the fact that here in the UK, we have live television cameras and The Queen was televised standing in the heat at the appointed time and Trump was not there. The live feed was transmitted in real time to Europe’s newsrooms and no doubt elsewhere around the world too.

        The Queen is NEVER late when she hosts an event. If the schedule says that she will arrive at 2 minutes before the hour to be ready for a ceremony at the hour, that’s exactly when she will arrive, not three minutes or one minute, but at two minutes to the hour. I’ve worked on many Royal events over the last fifty years and we all know how punctual she always is.

        Being late for The Queen is disrespectful, keeping any 92 yr old woman standing in the blistering heat is appalling, but lying about it and blaming her instead is utterly despicable.

        America deserves better than that, and genuinely patriotic Americans should demand better than that.

        1. Speaking of a president that lies to the public. Do you think when he met the Queen he greeted her with such enthusiasm?

          Listen to these giggling female reporters. Are these the same idiots who are disgusted with Trump’s “Grab’em by the Pu$$y” comment and then get to report on fake news Russian Collusion?

          Is that the respect you mean?

          1. Not being an American, nor living in America, I don’t align with either the Democrats or Republicans. Trying to claim that the other side might be just as bad is not going to work with me and doesn’t address the fundamental issue.

            The extent of the lying currently coming from the President himself and his officials is truly shocking. Trump supporters really need to look at news sources from around the world to see how America is rapidly diminishing itself on the world stage.

            I’ve lived long enough to have seen plenty of occasions where presidents of either party have tarnished their reputation and with it that of the USA, but I’ve never witnessed it happening on such a colossal scale or with such frequency as has happened in the last year or two.

            1. “news sources from around the world to see how America is rapidly diminishing itself on the world stage.”

              Oh please stop with the false claims over and over.

              Present Trump was an absolute rock star at Davos last year. He is currently working on fixing tariffs that for years did not favor the U.S. He has personally met the leaders of North Korea, China, Russia and many others. He flatly told NATO leaders point blank to pay their fair share. He rescinded money pit feel good deals with Paris Climate Accord and Iran. He unleashed the military to eliminate ISIS. He bombed Syria and thumbed his nose at Putin for failing humanitarian reasons.

              President Trump is a pillar of strength and unbending resolve on the the world stage. He has done more in almost two years than Obama in eight years.

              Now let’s contrast that with your hero. Bowed, kissed rings, world apologist tour, ignored tariffs, dismissed ISIS as the JayV Team as they were growing and burning people in cages and cutting heads off on video. Paid off Iran with taxpayer billions. No response to Benghazi as Americans were under assault for hours, killed and their pleas for help went totally unanswered. Ignored North Korea threat, I could go on.

              I mean, c’mon man — WAKE UP! …

            2. Well thanks for so precisely proving alanaudio’s point. Outside of the provincial backwaters you inhabit where reading foreign news content is an existential threat, those are the precise reasons that the US reputation in foreign affairs, world vision and international cooperation is nosediving. They can all be pretty much summarised as overt bullying. That’s not a strategy with any sort of shelf life since the rest of the world will simply end run around his roadblocks.
              It’s amazing that you think being uncooperative, untrustworthy and dangerously capricious is anything other than a recipe for disaster with international derision served on the side.
              But of course, since you have zero interest in gaining a world purview beyond FoxFakeNews.

        2. “The rest of your post is guilt by association and no facts to implicate the president …

          America DOES deserve the following of all laws…bank & tax fraud and immigration.

          Very dramatic: “That’s not the America that I recognise and came to admire.”

      2. Keep clinging to that hope, GoeB. The GOP narrative keeps changing from total and fervent denial to misdirection and whataboutism to begrudging admission of minimal association with a growing group of guilty parties to the latest two GOP gems…”it isn’t really a crime because most people do it” and “I haven’t been charged with a crime.”

        The POTUS *has* already been implicated in campaign finance violations. And I believe that it is highly likely that the forthcoming report will contain a great deal of information implicating Trump in several varieties of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The guy was dirty long before he was (barely) elected as POTUS. All of that dirt, including his more recent actions as Presidential candidate and POTUS, will be revealed soon enough. And the truth will set us free!

    2. Well we COULD go back to the Obama -era habit of the DOJ ignoring everything the administration does by rationalizing anything as OK.

      Can also recognize Manafort had these same charges dropped against him during the Obama administration by none other than Rod Rosenstein and were only brought back up to squeeze him (I’m not defending what he did, but this is what happened)

      Cohen pleaded guilty to something that isn’t even a crime at the behest of Lanny Davis. Go figure.

      Flynn did nothing wrong. I’ll say it again, Flynn did nothing wrong and should still be in office.

      Again, too many people are ignoring the crimes of the Left with all of its overwhelming evidence just so they can feel better about their “team” (reality be damned). If Trump is guilty of Russian influence and rigging the election, I want him out of there. But using the justice system to hamper his ability to govern just for the sake of political points (or he would already have charges) is just too much for me to stomach anymore. I didn’t care for it when it was Clinton and I want it to end now.

    3. That’s a no brainer alanaudio. I call it the 9-12 factor, how the country reacted after the second 9-11. A couple of their buildings were blow up and since then the whole deck of cards has been crumbling down like the falling empire it now is.

      What the future holds, who knows but it’s currently in free fall and they have the leader to make that free fall great.

    4. Somebody needs to remind little Timmy that it is the Obama’s immigration policy that has produced so many “Angel Moms”.

      Tim, get you SJW head out of your ass.

      1. To repeat, Tim Cook was calling for more LEGAL immigration. He wasn’t addressing anyone who is breaking the law. By continuing to tie those separate issues together, you really are sounding like an angry white man.

        1. “you really are sounding like an angry white man.”

          What, of all the races in the world no one else is allowed to be angry?

          That aside, clear evidence you are a liberal cheap shot BIGOT …

          1. Well, at least I’m not instructing the government to waste taxpayer money to investigate a conspiracy theory cooked up out of whole cloth by pro-apartheid Afrikaners, then promoted by a “journalist” who didn’t factcheck the story because it fits his white-nationalist agenda. Any reasonable President of the United States who saw the story on TV would pick up the phone to check on the facts before falsely accusing a friendly country of white genocide.

            It is hard to explain that reaction other than by bias against black-majority countries. It is pretty clear that it is not an accident that Our President calls those countries “s’holes” and consistently labels any minority person he does not like as “low IQ.” Every action he has taken since the day he descended the escalator from on high reinforces what he said that day, that he believes that foreigners (and he did not limit it to illegal immigrants) are mostly criminals.

            The same goes for the crass effort to politicize the brutal murder in Iowa. Yes, the guy couldn’t have committed the crime if he wasn’t in the country. He also couldn’t have done it if he had never been born, but that’s hardly an argument for abortion. Are he going to demonize redheads every time one of them commits a crime? Study after study shows that immigrants are actually less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans, but facts don’t matter when bias rules.

            A certain group of the core Trump supporters eat this BS up, because they are scared by the sociological and demographic changes that threaten their economic and political dominance. For them, MAGA means a return to the days when women and colored folks knew their place.

            1. You did not deny you are a liberal BIGOT, because you cannot. As per your tedious MO — sing along …

              Why am I so doubtful whenever you are out of sight

              Deflection torments my heart
              Deflection keeps us apart
              Deflection why torture me

              Play on lyrics from “Suspicion” by the King Elvis …

  4. Tim – how about you let all of us steal Apple stuff in stores since “the law” is not really important. Let’s just have a new flash mob arrangement where we can all have all the Apple stuff for free. If you don’t let us do this, you are just being an angry white male. We want free Apple stuff.

  5. The problem is not replacing American workers with cheap labor, but blocking American workers from obtaining well paid jobs.
    Many IT departments are overrun by H-1B workers (I call them Indian mafia) and they only hire Indian workers, job postings are just formality and any non-Indian worker is not even considered. BoA, Cisco, Fidelity, are some example companies where this happens all the time. I know it from personal experience and from my friends who work there

  6. When Tim describes the immigrants he wants, he is saying the same thing as Trump. He wants people of value, specifically of value to him. These people don’t typically come from oh Sub-Saharan Africa. Trump, not being a master of decorum, mentions not wanting people from shit hole countries. Trump is a racist. Cook is a statesman. It’s all in the language.

  7. Yup. Apple, too, loves their cheap labor and H1-B visas (they are a mega-corporation that exists to generate and maximize profit, not your ‘friend’). Impossible to take seriously.

    1. Expecting a US corporation to import workers who have received training and education by a foreign nation at no cost to the US corporation could be called extreme Socialism under guise of fiduciary responsibility and corporate rights. It’s merely another example of duplicitous corporate practice of situational Free Enterprise and situational Socialism.

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