Some tech executives are matching ACLU donations amid immigration ban protests

by admin January 29, 2017 at 11:54 pm

Tech executives are offering to match donations to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) following the enactment of an executive order banning entry to refugees and visa holders from seven countries.

As multiple executives and CEOs of technology companies have come out in opposition of what’s essentially being called an immigration ban, some have chosen to do so by offering to match individuals’ donations on Twitter. Early Twitter investor Chris Sacca, for example, was an early one to start the trend and offered to match donations to those who would direct message or respond with receipts.

A number of executives also followed, including Stripe CEO Patrick Collison, Nest founder Tony Fadell, a joint group including Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson and Foundry Group partner Brad Feld, USV partner Albert Wenger Homebrew Venture partners Hunter Walk and Satya Patel, Intercom CEO Eoghan McCabe,  and Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield. The ACLU challenged the executive order and won an emergency stay that will allow those who landed in the U.S. with a valid visa (or are currently in transit) to enter the country and stay. The stay was issued by a federal court in New York.

Protests erupted Saturday following the executive order, putting pressure on prominent members of the tech industry and executives to come out against the immigration ban. And, for the most part, executives in the largest companies have made some kind of statement either internally or publicly. The order in particular placed challenges on companies like Google and Uber, which may have employees working abroad that may not have the ability to get back in the country following the order.

Uber, for example, said it would create a $3 million defense legal fund to cover legal, immigration and translation costs for drivers affected by the ban. Lyft CEO Logan Green said the company would donate $1 million to the ACLU over four years and came out strongly against the order.

For the millionaires and billionaires of Silicon Valley these increments in the tens of thousands of dollars may seem nominal (with Sacca’s being among the highest). But at the same time it’s given these executives and prominent members of the community a way to come out against the ban in a some measurable fashion, and it’s apparently been successful in getting people to donate to the ACLU.

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