President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order on immigration continues to dominate global conversation — and several major executives are speaking out strongly against it.
Tim Boyle, CEO of Columbia Sportswear Co., penned a personal letter about the ban, which focuses on seven Muslim-majority countries, and how it relates to his family’s history in the U.S.
“This message, like our company, has roots that reach back to 1938,” Boyle wrote in a note to employees. “That’s when Columbia Sportswear was founded — the year after my family fled Nazi Germany and my mother and grandparents settled safely in Portland, Ore. Because they were able to come to the United States, they were able to start a small regional hat distributor and name it ‘Columbia.‘ “
Boyle wrote that his family was here because the U.S. was “open and tolerant enough to let us in. Both our family and business were encouraged to engage with the world,” he said.
He went on to say that Columbia was committed to tolerance, diversity and fairness — and engagement across cultures: “It should not be necessary in 2017 to say that we at Columbia do not judge people based on their religious beliefs, nor should it be controversial for us to say that. But in today’s political environment, I am taking a moment to restate that fundamental view.”
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos went a step further, saying his company was prepared to support a lawsuit against Trump’s order that’s being filed by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
“Our public policy team in D.C. has reached out to senior administration officials to make our opposition clear,” Bezos wrote. “We’ve also reached out to congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to explore legislative options. Our legal team has prepared a declaration of support for the Washington State Attorney General, who will be filing suit against the order.”
On Sunday, Nike chief Mark Parker came out against the ban in a letter to employees.
“Nike believes in a world where everyone celebrates the power of diversity. Regardless of whether or how you worship, where you come from or who you love, everyone’s individual experience is what makes us stronger as a whole,” Parker wrote. “Those values are being threatened by the recent executive order in the U.S. banning refugees, as well as visitors, from seven Muslim-majority countries. This is a policy we don’t support. And I know we’re all asking what this means for our future, for our friends, our families and our broader community.”