Dems say Trump order is anti-innovation

February 3, 2017
In The News

Democratic lawmakers in a new letter to President Trump say his executive order blocking entry to the U.S. by people from seven largely Muslim nations is short-sighted and could prevent innovation in the United States.

The letter, signed by 25 Democats, notes that Google founder Sergey Brin is himself an immigrant whose parents came from the Soviet Union.

“Your policy misguidedly applies a blanket ban on immigration for individuals traveling from predominately Muslim countries, and wrongly halts work visas from those areas,” the lawmakers wrote.

“As real facts prove, from 9/11 on, no individuals who have committed terrorist acts inside the United States come from any of the seven countries that are subject to your Executive Order.”

Trump’s order for 90 days would prevent people from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen from entering the United States.

Those signing the letter included Reps Ted Lieu (Calif.), G.K. Butterfield (N.C.) and Robin Lee (Ill.).

“Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do,” they quoted Apple CEO Tim Cook as saying. Cook along with much of the tech industry, blasted Trump’s travel ban after he signed it last Friday.

Several of the letter’s signatories hold tech-focused roles in Congress. Rep. Lee is the Ranking Member on the Oversight Committee IT Subcommittee and co-chair of the Congressional Diversifying Tech Caucus. Other IT Subcommittee members who signed the letter included Rep. Leiu and Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.).

The tech community is also bracing for possible action by Trump on H-1B visas, which many workers in Silicon Valley use to work in the United States. Many fear Trump will use an executive order to limit H-1B visas for highly skilled workers trying to enter the U.S. to fill in demand technology jobs.

Trump adviser Steve Bannon has been critical of the visas, arguing they take jobs from U.S. workers.

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