New York’s tech community pens letter condemning Trump’s immigration ban

Non-profit technology policy organization Tech:NYC has joined a rising chorus of companies responding to Friday’s sweeping immigration ban, penning a letter condemning President Trump’s actions.

The note pulls together a wide range of top executives from tech companies, investment firms and the like, including Indiegogo, Greylock Partners, Casper, Birchbox, Foursquare, Warby Parker, LittleBits, Betaworks, Kickstarter, Lyft, Vine, Buzzfeed, Trello, Uber and Slack. The list of names involved is a dozen pages long, including some (like Uber and Lyft) who have released individual statements and many others who have yet to comment. More names are expected to be added to the list.

The letter details the historical importance of immigration to the city, boasting, “more foreign-born immigrants than any other city in the world,” along with the role they’ve played in the larger tech community.

[I]t is dangerous to discourage immigration when the facts show that immigrant entrepreneurs play a significant role in the American economy. Immigrants are more than twice as likely to start a business as the native-born population. Immigrant entrepreneurs started, in whole or in part, some of the most important technology companies of our time including LinkedIn, Tesla Motors, Zipcar, Google, Intel, Yahoo!, eBay, and WhatsApp. More than half of the companies on the current list of U.S. technology startups valued at $1 billion or more were started by immigrants.

The letter goes on to explain to Trump, New York State’s US senate and house members and congressional leaders Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi that security can be achieved “without threatening the inclusivity and diversity at the heart of New York City—and the United States.”

“Alexander Graham Bell came to this country to start AT&T, like Sergey Brin and Google,” Tech:NYC executive director Julie Samuels told TechCrunch. “In New York, we’ve seen it up close for centuries: immigrants who bring their skills and their dreams to this country make it a stronger and richer place. We should be making it easier for immigrants from anywhere to come to the United States and this executive order moves us backward. New York’s tech community stands on the side of those who want to build something new in America for themselves, their families, and all of us.”