It appears that U.S. courts will be one of the battlegrounds where immigrant rights advocates and Silicon Valley giants will fight against the immigration orders shot out of the White House.
The growing outrage against Donald Trump’s Executive Order that bans immigrants from seven predominately Muslim countries, has helped the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) raise over $24 million since the order was signed last Friday.
That’s according to Anthony Romero, the executive director of the civil liberties group. Romero told Yahoo News that in addition to the $24 million, more than 150,000 new members have joined the organization.
— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) January 28, 2017
Penn, best known for his role in Harold and Kumar, also served as a public engagement adviser to former president Barack Obama. He shared the image of the racist tweet with a fundraising page link which was created under the name “Donating to Syrian refugees in the name of the dude who said I don’t belong in America.”
“We are better than the hateful people who tell us we don’t belong in our own country, that America can’t be a beacon of freedom and hope for refugees from around the world. We will turn their bigotry, along with the President’s, into love,” he wrote on the page.
Penn’s initiative soon went viral on social media and people began to donate under their own names and some on behalf of Steven Bannon, Melania Trump, Kellyanne Conway and the President Trump himself.
Soon after the initial target of $250,000 was reached within 24 hours, Penn posted a thank you message on the page saying, “Beautiful people – You just raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for refugees in less than 24 hours!”
Google has confirmed a USA Today report that it is funding an initial $2 million for the fund that can be matched with up to $2 million in donations from employees. The money will go toward the American Civil Liberties Union, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the International Rescue Committee and the U.N. Human Rights Commission.
Company executives are also donating separately to the effort.
Google says in a statement that it’s concerned about the impact President Donald Trump’s order to temporarily suspend immigration from seven Muslim majority nations will have on the company’s employees and their families.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai, an Indian American, wrote a memo to staff about the ban, which was obtained by Bloomberg.
Other tech companies have offered support as well. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said on Twitter that the company will provide “free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the U.S.,” and ride-sharing service Lyft announced it would donate $1 million to the ACLU over the next four years.
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella added his own statement via LinkedIn:
“As an immigrant and as a CEO, I’ve both experienced and seen the positive impact that immigration has on our company, for the country, and for the world. We will continue to advocate on this important topic.”
Ed Diokno writes a blog :Views From The Edge: news and analysis from an Asian American perspective.