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Google launches fund to donate $4 mn to immigrant rights organisations

San Francisco (USA): Tech giant Google has created a crisis fund that could raise up to USD 4 million for four immigrant rights organisations, including American Civil Liberties Union and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Set up with an initial funding of USD 2 million, the campaign will see Google employees matching the amount in donations. The funds will go toward the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the International Rescue Committee and the UNHRC.

A Google spokesperson confirmed the development. The USD 2 million crisis campaign is the largest ever for the Mountain View-based company. Since 2015, Google has given over USD 16 million to organisations focused on humanitarian aid for refugees on the ground, WiFi in refugee camps, and education for out of school refugee children in Lebanon. The spokesperson said the four organisations were chosen for their efforts in providing legal assistance and support services for immigrants, as well as for their efforts on resettlement and general assistance for refugees globally.

Last week, US President Donald Trump signed a sweeping executive order to suspend the arrival of refugees and impose tough new controls on travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, as part of new measures to "keep radical Islamic terrorists" out of America. Google's India-born CEO Sundar Pichai had criticised Trump's controversial order saying it will create "barriers" to bringing great talent to the US. The Internet search giant also ordered its travelling staff to return to America.

Pichai, in an email to staff, said the US ban on foreign nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries will hit nearly 200 Google employees. "It is painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues. We're upset 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," Pichai had said.

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