More than 200 investors and startups today added their names to an open letter opposing President Donald Trump's recent executive order that restricted travel to the U.S. by citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries and suspended refugee admissions.
The list of signatures includes big name venture firms like Accel and Bessemer Venture Partners, accelerators such as 500 Startups and General Assembly and startups such as Casper and Flywheel. The letter was spearheaded by Evan Engstrom, executive director of Engine -- which describes itself as a “policy, advocacy, and research organization supporting startups as an engine for economic growth -- and Bobby Franklin, the CEO and president of the Washington, D.C.-based National Venture Capital Association (NVCA).
In the open letter, Engstrom and Franklin write, “Limits on the movement immigrants -- including lawful visa holders -- into the U.S. based on their nationality or religion not only seed fear and uncertainty for our friends, families, and co-workers, but are also antithetical to American values and sends the message that the U.S. is no longer open for innovation. Every individual turned away or dissuaded from making America his or her home represents a potential employee or entrepreneur who will no longer be able to contribute to the success of companies in America.”
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco at 6:00 p.m. ET today will hear from lawyers from Washington state and Minnesota, who are arguing to halt the order, and the Justice Department, who are arguing to reinstate it. However, while that legal fight is brewing, it seems that there are more executive orders related to immigration in the ether.
Drafts of two orders, “Executive Order on Protecting Taxpayer Resources by Ensuring Our Immigration Laws Promote Accountability and Responsibility” and “Executive Order on Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of Foreign Worker Visa Programs,” were acquired by The Washington Post at the end of January.
The first would seek to deny any immigrant from entering the country that would receive public assistance. The second would seek to withdraw parole programs and work visas.
Read the full text of the letter below.