Mark Zuckerberg pushed back on President Donald Trump’s immigration initiatives today, protesting his call for local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws and his produced reduction in the number of refugees. “Like many of you, I’m concerned about the impact of the recent executive orders signed by President Trump,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post today. At the same time, Zuckerberg praised Trump’s vague pledge to “work something out” for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children. “I’m also glad the president believes our country should continue to benefit from ‘people of great talent coming into the country,’” Zuckerberg said, quoting Trump.
The post doesn’t quite rise to the level of criticism, but it does reflect an increasing willingness to challenge Trump’s policies inside Facebook. (Yesterday, its chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, offered a mild rebuke to Trump’s revival of a Reagan-era policy that withholds international aid to health organizations that offer abortion counseling.)
The executives are in a fraught position. On one hand, they face internal and external pressure to speak out against the administration’s erratic policymaking, which a majority of Americans oppose. On the other, they are striving to maintain good relations with the government, with which Facebook regularly has business. (Not to mention that Trump’s tweets alone have regularly sent companies’ stock prices tumbling.)
Zuckerberg has long been an advocate for expanding the number of legal immigrants to the United States. In 2013, he helped to launch FWD.us, a nonprofit group dedicated to promoting immigration reform. FWD released a statement yesterday criticizing Trump’s executive orders.
Zuckerberg’s full post is below.