Google sets up £4m fund to help those affected by Trump’s refugee ban


Google has set up a $4m (£3.2m) crisis fund to help employees and other people affected by President Donald Trump’s new immigration policy, the Indepdent reports.

Mr Trump, on Friday, signed an executive order for “extreme vetting” that halted the US’s refugee programme and restricted citizens from a number of Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for at least 90 days. The countries affected are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

In response, Google has pledged $2m (£1.6m) of its own money matched by $2m to be made up in donations from its employees, according to a report by USA Today.

The crisis fund is reported to be the largest sum of money ever awarded by the search giant to a humanitarian cause.

It will be distributed amongst four bodies: the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHR).

“We’re concerned about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that could create barriers to bringing great talent to the US,” Google said in a statement to USA Today. “We’ll continue to make our views on these issues known to leaders in Washington and elsewhere.”

News of Google’s campaign follows statements against the controversial ban by company chief executive Sundar Pichai and the participation of its co-founder Sergey Brin in a protest at San Francisco International Airport over the weekend.

Mr Pichai criticised the executive order in an email to staff saying the US ban on foreign national from seven countries affects at least 187 Google employees.

Other tech companies took concrete action to support employees and people affected by Mr Trump’s new policy.

Airbnb has offered free accommodation to people left stranded by Mr Trump’s travel ban.

Microsoft sent a letter to its employees offering legal assistance to those affected, while Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook,on Friday said that he was “concerned about the impact of the recent executive orders signed by President Trump”.

Separately, Uber over the weekend said it will create a $3m (£2.4m) legal defence fund to help drivers on its platform with immigration issues.