SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Apple CEO Tim Cook told an audience Wednesday that it is important to continue to speak out against President Donald Trump’s immigration ban.
Cook was in Scotland at the University of Glasgow to receive an honorary doctorate of science when he spoke out against the travel ban to a gathering of faculty and students.
Shortly after the ban was announced, Cook sent a letter to employees saying Trump’s order was “not a policy we support” and promised to help affected employees.
When addressing his opposition, Cook quoted civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
“Doctor (Martin Luther) King said something so incredible – he’s a hero of mine – he said that ‘it wouldn’t be the actions of people that would be the problem,” the Apple CEO said. “It would be the appalling silence of the good people.’ And I think that’s a lesson for all of us. If we stand and say nothing, it’s as if we’re agreeing, that we’ve become a part of it and so I think it’s very important to speak out.”
Cook told the gathering that the ban had caused a great deal of anxiety for some Apple employees.
“We have employees that secured a working visa, they located to the United States, they brought their family to the United States,” he said. “They happened to be outside the United States when the executive order was issued as all of a sudden their family is split. They couldn’t get back in and arguably that’s a, that’s a crisis.”
“Can you imagine that? We’ve been able to work through that but you can imagine the stress and now the feeling that exists of ‘will it occur again?’.”
Cook also said without immigration, Apple would not be able to maintain its role as a worldwide innovator.
“Steve (Jobs) was the son of an immigrant. Our company has immigrants in it,” he said. “They’re key to the innovation of our company. Our company depends on diversity and diversity with a big ‘D’.”
“Diversity of thought and people generally have diverse views of things if they had different backgrounds. It’s the beauty, it’s the tapestry of getting people with all different backgrounds and all different point of views that are able to create the best product.”