U.S. President Donald Trump’s recently posed restriction on immigrants have set the entire world into a movement, to which Silicon Valley has responded by leading group struggle against him.
In response to the ban announcement, a massively circulated message highlighted the number of US tech companies founded by the first or second generation immigrants. The companies include:
Trump imposed a temporary restriction on seven Muslim majority countries and halted the entrance of refugee for 120 days. The visitors have been barred from entering the country and those who have arrived were restricted to leave the airport. This scenario raised the anger among immigrants and started a global reaction.
US Tech Leaders and IT Companies’ Protest against the Ban
According to the memos, global organizations such as Google, Apple Inc and Microsoft financed the effected employees. Many executives of Silicon Valley also aided to support the immigrants affected by the restrictions.
On Twitter, both Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk and Uber head Travis Kalanick declared to present industry concerns about the ban to Trump’s business advisory council.
After facing disagreement for being a part of advisory group, on Sunday, Kalanick posted on Facebook. He declared the immigration ban ‘wrong and unjust’ and announced a $3 million fund for the drivers affected by it.
Khash Sajadi, the British-Iranian chief executive of Cloud 66 got stuck in London due to the ban. Like the other IT workers, he also had an H1B visa, through which special expertise foreigners can get employed in US.
Sajadi urged big IT companies like Google and Facebook to take serious action to support their affected employees. Such practice would have provided an example for people facing the same problem. He stated:
“Ultimately, I think them simply speaking up is not going to move the needle with people who are not wealthy and do not live on the East or West Coasts”
Organizing Protest ‘Tech against Trump’ and the Contributions
Eric Talley, a corporate law professor at Columbia Law School responded “as forceful as it possibly can be,” on the behalf of the IT companies. He added:
“One of the difficult aspects of reaction to the Trump administration in its first couple of weeks is trying to balance the interest of expressing legitimate concern … against the potential cost of being out too far ahead of everyone else”
Beside the immigration ban, Trump’s trade policy and cyber security have also affected the tech industry.
Sam Altman, the President of Mountain View, wrote a blog gathering the tech leaders to put a combined effort against the immigration ban. He said that he himself along with various other people is working on producing the best course of action. He commented:
“The honest answer is we don’t know yet. We are talking with legal groups and tech groups, but this is so unprecedented that I don’t think anyone has a manual”
John Zimmer and Logan Green, co-founders at Lyft, announced a million dollar donation to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) over the next four years.
Stewart Butterfield co-founder of Slack collaboration service and Albert Wenger and Fred Wilson partners at Union Square Ventures also declared similar donation to the ACLU.
Founder of the Harrison Metal, Michael Dearing supported small IT companies and startups affected by the ban through Project ELLIS. ELLIS (Entrepreneurs’ Liberty Link in Silicon Valley) is referred to as New York Harbor’s Ellis Island, landing place of most refugees in the US. He said that the group has covered two cases in less than a day.
Dearing stated that the idea was to “get people in touch quickly with the … resources they would have access to if they were in a Google or an Apple or a Microsoft”
Trump’s Ban For Homeland Security
The founding partner of 500 startups, Dave McClure, said that if this ban becomes permanent, his venture capital firm will donate in the Middle East and will also support the entrepreneurs in the native countries. In addition, he added:
“Investing in entrepreneurs in other countries is probably one of the best things we can do to promote international awareness and understanding”
Brad Taylor, a 37-year old engineer at Optimizely, has begun shaping “Tech Against Trump,” which would be held on 14th March. He said:
“The purpose of this is not to be against tech, but to urge them to be on the right side of history”
The rally organizers of Palo Alto also encouraged IT workers to come out and become a part of the protest against Trump. Even though the statements by the IT leaders have been very supporting, Taylor expects them to go much further.
Source: Reuters / Featured Photos: GettyImages