An Open Letter from members of the US technology and business communities Regarding the Travel Ban Executive Order
We, the undersigned members of the American technology and business community support measures that effectively enhance the national security and safety of the United States. While we are sympathetic to such efforts, we are deeply concerned about the adverse effects of the recent Executive Order (EO), which blocks members of our community of Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Sudanese, Yemeni, Libyan and Somali origin from entering the US. This blanket ban, even a short suspension of entry, has adverse effects on the US economy to which our businesses have contributed significantly. In addition, it causes unnecessary harm and disruption in the daily lives of members of American society, and does not serve to advance the US national interest.
The US economy depends on the contributions of lawful immigrants from the designated countries, who play key roles in major American corporations as entrepreneurs, board members, executives, managers, researchers, engineers, designers, lawyers, marketers, and more. Their jobs require them to travel outside the US, and the ban not only prevents them from carrying out their duties effectively but also severely damages the business flow and economic value that they bring to the US.
Legal immigrants from the designated countries have been job creators. Many well-known, successful American corporations employing tens of thousands of Americans are founded by and/or have received key contributions from legal immigrants from these countries. Their positive impact on the American economy is undeniable and would have been lost if they or their families had been prevented from entering the US. There are many prominent examples to attest to this:
- Steve Jobs, Founder and former CEO of Apple Inc., son of an immigrant from Syria.
- Omid Kordestani, Executive Chairman of Twitter, former SVP at Google Inc., immigrant from Iran.
- Salar Kamangar, SVP at Google Inc., former CEO of YouTube, immigrant from Iran.
- Bob Miner, Co-founder of Oracle Corporation, son of refugees from Iran.
- Pierre Omidyar, Founder and CEO of eBay Inc., son of an immigrant from Iran.
This Executive Order imposes an undue burden on law-abiding individuals of our community. They have worked hard to join our society in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families and have become an integral part of our society. This ban separates US Citizens and legal residents from their family members internationally, preventing family members from seeing one another. This infringement is detrimental to the family structure of these valuable legal immigrants and our society as a whole, and contradicts some of our most cherished American values.
We believe the ban has negative consequences that reach beyond the scope of national security, and punishes law-abiding, hard-working, and well-integrated immigrants who are contributing immensely to the US economy. We are after all, the United States of America.
We disagree with this Executive Order and ask for its withdrawal in the name of American values and our national interest.
The petition has received over 6000 signatures so far which are published on the website:
"Silicon Valley Stands" is not a political organization. We are open to every corner of the political spectrum, just as our group’s members represent every corner of the world, every nationality, every religion, ethnicity, gender, age and background. Just like Silicon Valley, we represent the full tapestry of this unique identity we all share: Americans.
Our commonality is that we stand united to defend the founding principles and values of this country that we all love so dearly. The freedoms we enjoy in this country have been earned through blood and sweat, and it is our duty to past generations of Americans, and the generations that will follow us, to be the guardians of those freedoms.
“(Freedom) is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation.”
“We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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