Laurene Powell Jobs, Widow of Apple Co-Founder, Talks Immigration With Trump

  • Laurene Powell Jobs advocates for comprehensive overhaul
  • Steve Jobs’s father immigrated to the U.S. from Syria in 1952

Here's What's Different in Trump's New Travel Ban

President Donald Trump discussed immigration policy with Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs and a critic of Trump’s travel ban, at the White House on Wednesday, according to an administration official.

The meeting comes after the president issued a second executive order temporarily barring travel and immigration from six predominantly Muslim countries. The order also halts all admissions under the U.S. refugee program for the next four months and halves the number of refugees to be admitted to the U.S. this fiscal year.

Critics of the president’s immigration policies often point to Steve Jobs as an example of how the U.S. has benefited by welcoming foreigners into the country. The former Apple chief executive’s biological father, Abdul Fattah Jandali, immigrated to the U.S. from Syria in 1952.

Trump’s initial travel ban would have blocked resettlement by Syrian refugees indefinitely. The new order includes them under the 120-day suspension.

The Emerson Collective, Powell Jobs’s philanthropic organization, has aligned itself with critics of Trump’s policies. One page of its website is titled, “7 things you can do right now to help immigrants and refugees affected by Trump’s executive orders.

So has Apple. Tim Cook, who took over as chief executive at Apple following Jobs’s death in 2011, said last month the company was considering legal action to challenge the president’s first order, which was halted by a panel of appeals court judges.

"More than any other country in the world, this country is strong because of our immigrant background and our capacity and ability as people to welcome people from all kinds of backgrounds,” Cook told The Wall Street Journal. “We ought to pause and really think deeply through that.”

Powell Jobs herself has advocated for comprehensive immigration reform, including policies that would provide legal status for people brought to the U.S. without documents as children.

“We have educated individuals and individuals who want to further their education, passionately, deeply, right here in our country who we are not enabling,” she said in a 2013 interview with NBC News.

Alan Marks, a spokesman for the Emerson Collective, confirmed that she planned to discuss education and immigration with the president but offered no further details. The White House meeting was closed to journalists.

Trump has begun a crackdown on undocumented immigrants nationwide, pledging stricter enforcement of the nation’s laws, and has started planning to construct a wall along the Mexican border. He has said he hasn’t yet made up his mind about how to handle undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, called “Dreamers” by their advocates, and granted temporary legal status under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

— With assistance by Jing Cao, and Alex Webb

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