Amazon's Jeff Bezos promises to fight Trump's immigration ban

The tech chief tells Amazon employees affected by the ban "the full extent of Amazon's resources are behind you."

Ben Fox Rubin Former senior reporter
Ben Fox Rubin was a senior reporter for CNET News in Manhattan, reporting on Amazon, e-commerce and mobile payments. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Ben Fox Rubin
3 min read
Watch this: Microsoft joins suit to stop immigration ban, other tech firms to follow

Bezos at a meeting of tech executives and then President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan last month.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO and founder, said his company is going into action to counter President Trump's controversial immigration order, which temporarily blocked refugees and citizens of seven countries from entering the US.

In an email to employees Monday, Bezos said Amazon is working on a number of efforts, including exploring legislative measures and drafting a declaration of support for Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson's lawsuit against the immigration order. Amazon is based in Seattle. Bezos told employees affected by the ban "the full extent of Amazon's resources are behind you."

His comments were among a flurry of statements from tech leaders speaking out against the new ban.

Representatives for the Trump administration didn't respond to a request for comment. Earlier Monday, Trump tweeted: "There is nothing nice about searching for terrorists before they can enter our country. This was a big part of my campaign. Study the world!"

Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, has been critical of Trump during the election last year, jokingly offering to send Trump into space and, more pointedly, suggesting Trump was eroding democracy "on the edges." Trump also jabbed at Amazon, saying it wasn't paying its fair share of taxes and claimed Bezos bought the Post to influence politics.

However, after the election, Bezos appeared to become more conciliatory, with the CEO tweeting that he'd give Trump his "most open mind" and also attending a meeting of major tech leaders last month. This month, Amazon announced plans to create 100,000 jobs in the US, which was seen as another olive branch to the new president, even though many of those jobs were already in the works.

The latest comments from Bezos show his interest building bridges with the new president are now much less certain.

Here's Bezos statement:

A quick update on where we are. This executive order is one we do not support. Our public policy team in D.C. has reached out to senior administration officials to make our opposition clear. 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. We are working other legal options as well.

We're a nation of immigrants whose diverse backgrounds, ideas, and points of view have helped us build and invent as a nation for over 240 years. No nation is better at harnessing the energies and talents of immigrants. It's a distinctive competitive advantage for our country--one we should not weaken.

To our employees in the U.S. and around the world who may be directly affected by this order, I want you to know that the full extent of Amazon's resources are behind you.

The 90-day ban, which has been temporarily halted by a judge, affects immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya.

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