Several tech leaders spoke out against President Trump’s executive order to ban immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries over the weekend. Today, Sheryl Sandberg leaned into that now rather large group with a post on her Facebook wall.
In it, Sandberg talked about her great-great-grandmother arriving at Ellis Island in the late 1800s, fleeing religious persecution — a familiar ancestral story for many generations of Americans. But Sandberg then turned the focus on how this particular immigration ban would affect women.
“Something that hasn’t gotten enough attention is how this harsher immigration climate is particularly unforgiving for women,” the Lean In leader wrote. “Long before this week, women — especially undocumented women — have been vulnerable to violence and abuse once they get here.”
Sandberg has been excoriated recently for staying silent on the Women’s March — the biggest protest in U.S. history and one that seemed a no-brainer for anyone claiming to be a feminist to at least say something about.
We don’t know the exact reasons why Sandberg chose to stay out of that one (though we’ve asked), but the timing of this most recent post on immigration might seem odd. It took Sandberg more than a long weekend to add her position after several tech leaders already voiced their opposition. Even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg spoke up at the onset saying, “We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat.”
Is there a reason for Sandberg to move so cautiously? It could have something to do with the rumors that the Facebook exec is planning to run for office or even shopping around for a CEO position.
“The Executive Orders issued over the past week defy the heart and values that define the best of our nation. Families have been separated. Frightened children have been detained in airports without their parents. People seeking refuge have been turned away and sent back to the danger they just managed to flee. This is not how it should be in America,” Sandberg wrote.
Sandberg is finally adding her own heart and values to this growing canoe.