On Jan 28th, Sergey Brin was spotted taking part in a protest at San Fransisco International Airport. The protest was being held in response to one of US President Trump's most recent executive orders, which blocks immigration from several predominantly Islamic countries. The Google Co-founder – and President of Google's parent company, Alphabet – was noted as saying that he was attending in a "personal capacity" but was not going to be making any further comments. While he did not wish to make a statement, it is known that Brin's family immigrated to the US to escape persecution against Jews in Soviet Russia in 1979 – lending credibility to his statement that he was there for personal reasons and not acting in his capacities as they pertain to Google or Alphabet. However, Google itself has been ramping up its lobbying efforts to the President's political party in recent months as the company could be negatively impacted by many of the promised actions of the new administration.
President Trump has stirred up a fair amount of controversy since taking office, causing several tech companies and their representatives to respond in a more official capacity as well. The most recent string of responses comes – as Brin's personal response does – as a result of the President's recent executive order on immigration. Adding to the slew of responses from representatives of SpaceX, Amazon, and Netflix, the search giant was also reported to be calling home many of its overseas-stationed employees as a precautionary measure since they were in countries affected by the order.
It is worth bearing in mind that quite a few of the CEO's, Presidents, and employees at major tech companies are not native-born themselves. In fact, several companies that are household names were either founded, co-founded, or are run by people who immigrated to the US. Perhaps surprisingly, some estimates put the number of tech companies at least co-founded by immigrants to the US as high as 40%. Among the household names are Ebay, Google, and Tesla Motors. With so much American innovation in the tech industry seeming to come from people who were not actually born in the US, it makes sense that any attempts to block immigration entirely is going to draw out strong responses. Fortunately, at least for these companies and others like them, the executive order which led to the protest was recently halted by a judge at the federal level. It is not known whether protests – such as the one attended by Brin – had anything to do with the judge's decision.