This past Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly criticized Trump’s immigration ban in Scotland, where he spoke after accepting an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow.
“I do not support the immigration ban,” Cook said after the ceremony.
During his remarks, Cook also invoked the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and admonished the audience of students against remaining silent: “If we stand and say nothing it’s as if we’re agreeing, that we become a part of it. It’s important to speak out.”
Trump’s severe immigration policies have been a particularly contentious flashpoint among many between the president and Silicon Valley, which relies heavily on its talent pool of skilled foreign workers. For example, when Trump issued a sweeping executive order suspending immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, hundreds of Apple workers were affected and numerous employees with work visas were trapped outside of the US and separated from their families by the travel ban.
“That’s a crisis,” Cook said. “You can imagine the stress.”
However, Cook was also at pains to emphasize that Apple is not an activist organization. “A lot of people hear that word and they think about sort of a professional activist. And that’s not we are, and that’s not what I am,” he said.