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Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos took a hard stance on Donald Trump’s immigration policy on Monday, saying in an email to the company’s employees that Amazon does not support it.

“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,” Bezos wrote in the email, posted in full below. “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.”

Bezos also detailed actions Amazon is taking to oppose the order, including talking to congressional leaders about legislative options. Earlier Monday, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced the state was filing a lawsuit challenging the immigration ban with the support of Amazon.

Bezos, who joined other CEOs to meet with Trump for a tech policy discussion last month, is the latest Washington tech company leader who has criticized the president’s order banning immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella posted his opposition to the ban on LinkedIn on Saturday; Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the president “has reverted to the short game;” and Starbucks’ Howard Schultz detailed a plan to hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years.

Bezos’ email to Amazon employees comes after a company-wide email sent by Beth Galetti, vice president of human resources, on Saturday. Galetti’s email detailed what steps employees affected by the ban should take and offered support.

“From the very beginning, Amazon has been committed to equal rights, tolerance and diversity—and we always will be,” Galetti wrote. “As we’ve grown the company, we’ve worked hard to attract talented people from all over the world, and we believe this is one of the things that makes Amazon great—a diverse workforce helps us build better products for customers.”

Here’s the full email from Bezos to Amazon employees:

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.

Thank you,

Jeff

And here’s the email Beth Galetti sent to Amazon employees on Saturday: 

As you may have seen in the news, the administration issued an executive order yesterday that restricts entry into the United States by foreign nationals who were born in, or are citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, even if you hold dual citizenship with another country, US permanent residence status or a valid US work visa. US citizens are not impacted by this restriction, which will be in effect for an initial period of 90 days, and may be extended or expanded.

From the very beginning, Amazon has been committed to equal rights, tolerance and diversity—and we always will be. As we’ve grown the company, we’ve worked hard to attract talented people from all over the world, and we believe this is one of the things that makes Amazon great—a diverse workforce helps us build better products for customers.

Our immediate focus is to make sure you all have the information you need to make travel decisions in the coming days and weeks. Here’s what you need to do now if you are a citizen of any of the countries listed in the order:

  • If you currently reside and/or work in the US and are present in the US today, we recommend that you refrain from travel outside of the US until further notice as you may be denied re-entry to the US for the duration of the entry restrictions;
  • If you currently work/reside in the US (as a green card holder or on a valid work visa such as an H, L, E, or TN) but are traveling abroad, please contact amazonimmigration@amazon.com. We are working on contingency plans for these employees and will be communicating with them directly;
  • If you work for Amazon in another country (and are a citizen of any of the countries listed above) and have current plans to visit the US for business or personal reasons, we advise you to cancel them until the entry restrictions are lifted.

We are committed to supporting all of our employees and anyone in their immediate family who may be impacted by this order, including assistance with legal counsel and support, and will continue to monitor any developments.

Thanks,

Beth

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