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Apple CEO Tim Cook Says Immigration is About ‘Morality’ — Not Borders and Walls

Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple, speaks as President Donald Trump listens during an American Technology Council roundtable in the State Dinning Room of the White House, Monday, June 19, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The head of one of America’s most successful companies criticized US President Donald Trump’s proposed immigration policies today, saying that US growth depends on new people coming to the country each year.

“Immigration is, I think, the biggest issue of our time because it goes to our values of being American. Are we human? Are we acting in a track of morality?” Cook said today in a conversation with former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

Read More: Mexico Just Offered to Help DREAMers in a Major Way if the US Deports Them

Cook has said there are 250 Apple employees who are also “Dreamers” — immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children and qualified to stay and work in the US under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

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"I wish everyone in America loved America this much," Cook said of the Dreamers.

Trump has threatened to end DACA and deport Dreamers.

"This is unacceptable,” he said. “This is not who we are as a country. I am personally shocked that there's even a discussion on this. It's not a political thing, at least I don't see it that way at all. It's about basic human decency and respect.”

Apple, in fact, is fundamentally indebted to immigration — The founder, Steve Jobs, was the child of a Syrian immigrant.

"If I were a world leader, my goal would be to monopolize the world's talent," Cook said. "Smart people create jobs.”

Read More: 9 Children of Immigrants Who Fundamentally Changed the US

Bloomberg also criticized the potential end to DACA, noting that the children had no choice in how they arrived in America.

“These people may be here illegally but they didn’t commit a crime and we desperately need them,” he said.

He also said that the anti-immigrant rhetoric from politicians was affecting business.

“We have had a handful of people in the US and in London say I would like to stay in Bloomberg but transfer to another office, we’re not liked here,” Bloomberg said. “That’s what happens with this this crazy rhetoric about immigrants. Words have consequences. You don’t see them immediately.”

“We need a constant source of new people coming here and if they can’t come here they will go somewhere else,” Bloomberg added.

Read More: White House Gives Congress 6 Months to Act on DACA, Leaving 800,000 Immigrant Children in Limbo

Cook said that overall, he is more optimistic today than he has ever been about the opportunity for people all over the world to solve problems together due to greater connectedness, but that it is vital for business leaders to facilitate that responsibly.

Bloomberg said he was optimistic, but the challenges facing the US were greater than they’ve ever been and leaders are not upholding those responsibilities.

“If you dumb down the dialogue it has consequences. It dumbs down the entire dialogue, and then we expect less. In the end it’s the leader of the organization the sets the tone, whether that’s a government or a business. If the tone goes down, everybody goes down. How do we recover that? It’s not clear. The real answer is you’ve got get a better leader down the road,” he said.

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