Facebook’s Zuckerberg ‘Concerned’ by Trump Immigration Moves

  • Zuckerberg says he and his wife are descendants of immigrants
  • Facebook CEO says U.S. should welcome refugees, dreamers

Greetham: Markets Willing to Look Through Trump Risk

Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said he’s “concerned” by the recent executive orders U.S. President Donald Trump signed to restrict immigration.

Zuckerberg said the U.S. should remain open for refugees and not target people who don’t pose a threat, such as undocumented immigrants who came with their parents at a young age. He and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are descendants of immigrants and refugees, he wrote in a Facebook post Friday.

“We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat,” Zuckerberg said. “Expanding the focus of law enforcement beyond people who are real threats would make all Americans less safe by diverting resources, while millions of undocumented folks who don’t pose a threat will live in fear of deportation.”

Zuckerberg repeated some of Trump’s more pro-immigrant quotes, striking a conciliatory tone and saying he was glad to hear Trump say he would “work something out” for Dreamers -- undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age -- and “people of great talent coming into the country.”

Trump has taken strong anti-immigrant stances after running a campaign that focused on limiting Muslim refugee access to the U.S. and building a wall to border Mexico. On Friday, the president signed an executive action to establish new vetting procedures for some people seeking to enter the U.S., saying the measure would prevent terrorists from being admitted.

The post was Zuckerberg’s strongest political comment since Trump’s inauguration, at a time when technology leaders are trying to adapt to the new administration and its planned changes. Both Zuckerberg and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg have been criticized for not speaking out against Trump -- especially since Sandberg has become a feminist icon after her 2013 book "Lean In" about empowering women in the workplace.

On Thursday, Sandberg criticized Trump’s order cutting U.S. funding to international non-governmental organizations that provide or talk about abortion services as a method of family planning.

“The best way to prevent abortion is through more family planning services, not fewer,” Sandberg said in a post on her Facebook page. “Women’s rights are human rights -- and there is no more basic right than health care.”

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