Designated Donald Trump adviser Elon Musk has just made one of his first inputs and it is not quite aligned with that of his boss. The Tesla CEO and Space X founder publicly opposed the new president's seven-country ban on immigration.
Musk: Ban Is Not The Solution
As was his custom, Musk railed about the executive order imposing a blanket ban on refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim countries on Twitter. He argued that it is not exactly the best way to solve the country's problems.
The position was also echoed by Tesla itself, which issued an official statement using Musk's Twitter post word for word.
Many people negatively affected by this policy are strong supporters of the US. They've done right,not wrong & don't deserve to be rejected.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 29, 2017
Musk, however, drew flak from some of his followers who criticized his muted statement. A number has also referenced his current ties to the Trump administration. Aside from being selected as one of the administration's economic advisers, Musk has also joined the Trump's Manufacturing Jobs Initiative Jan. 27.
The onslaught of criticisms has forced Musk to defend his position. With respect to his involvement in the Trump administration, he argued that it is an opportunity.
"The more voices of reason that the President hears, the better," Musk said in a Gizmodo interview.
Responding to some of his Twitter attackers, he also explained how strongly worded criticisms would merely lead to negative outcome for his part.
"Are you aware of a single case where Trump bowed to protests or media attacks?" Musk asked. "Better that there are open channels of communication."
It appears that the Tesla CEO wants to remain in Trump's good graces so he is in a better position to influence policy. It is not yet clear, however, whether his position on the immigration has been transmitted to Trump's desk.
Tim Cook, on the other hand, said that Apple has already reached out to the White House to explain how his company will be affected by the decree.
Trump vs. The Tech World
To understand the context of criticism that Musk has so far attracted, one could only turn to the statements of his peers in the tech industry such as Max Levchin, co-founder of PayPal.
"My family & I, & 1000s of Soviet Jews like us came to US as refugees in '91 running from regime that persecuted us because of who we were," Levchin also declared on Twitter. "As a nation of immigrants, we must not close our doors to refugees, and all those willing to contribute to America's success."
Tech companies are particularly opposed to the ban because of the level and number of talents they source overseas. Google, for example, stated that at least 187 staffers are directly affected by Trump's executive order as they come from the banned states.
One should also note that Musk is an immigrant himself. He was born in Transvaal to a Canadian mother and South African father. He only became a U.S. citizen in 2002.