Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi sharply criticized President Trump’s immigration executive order in an email to employees Sunday, saying it portrays the United States as “inward-looking versus forward thinking, reactionary versus visionary.”
Joining other tech-company leaders who are speaking out, Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi sharply criticized President Trump’s immigration executive order in an email to employees Sunday, saying it portrays the United States as “inward-looking versus forward thinking, reactionary versus visionary.”
He added in a separate email sent to some Expedia employees: “The President’s order represents the worst of his proclivity toward rash action versus thoughtfulness. Ours is a nation of immigrants. These are our roots, this is our soul. All erased with the stroke of a pen.”
The executive order temporarily bars refugees and other travelers from seven majority Muslim countries. It sparked protests and legal action across the U.S. this weekend as people who had been in transit were detained at airports.
Expedia’s focus this year is “Go Global,” Khosrowshahi wrote, as the company strives to make its travel-booking technology available to people around the world.
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“This requires us to have an employee base which is broad, compassionate, entrepreneurial, and always seeking out different ways of getting things done,” he said.
Expedia has reached out to employees who may be affected by the ban and is helping them with travel when needed.
Tech executives across the country have slammed Trump’s executive order since it was signed Friday, pointing to the far-reaching consequences it could have on tech workforces, which often include U.S. immigrants who have high-tech work visas.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was concerned about the order, and called for law enforcement to focus on people who are real threats, not “millions of undocumented folks who don’t pose a threat.”
CEO Jeff Bezos said Amazon does not support the order and is making sure the Trump administration knows its position. The U.S. is strengthened by its ability to hire talented people from around the world, he said.
A Bloomberg report Monday morning called out a draft executive order that could further restrict work visas, including H-1B visas, commonly used by tech companies.
Apart from its impact on Expedia employees, Friday’s immigration order could have an impact on the image of the U.S. as a whole, Khosrowshahi wrote.
“I believe that with this Executive Order, our President has reverted to the short game,” he wrote. “The U.S. may be an ever so slightly less dangerous as a place to live, but it will certainly be seen as a smaller nation, one that is inward-looking versus forward thinking, reactionary versus visionary.”
Khosrowshahi himself immigrated to the U.S. from Iran in 1978 with his family, around the time of the Iranian revolution.
“We sure didn’t feel like refugees, but in hindsight I guess we were — my father and mother left everything behind to come here — to be safe and give their boys a chance to re-build a life,” he wrote.