The recent executive order suspending admittance of all refugees and banning immigration from select countries is odious and ill-considered. It has put lives in danger, harmed lawful residents, alienated strategic allies and business partners, and cast a cloud of dark uncertainty over the future. We have experienced these events firsthand.
One of our friends, a banker who was returning to the U.S. after visiting his family in the Middle East, was turned away at the border. He was days away from being granted American citizenship. Our summer associate, who is completing his doctorate in engineering at M.I.T., just learned that his mother in Iran has had her visa revoked and will no longer be able to attend her son’s graduation. One of our own young children, worried for her Muslim friends, sobbed this weekend because “America is not a good place anymore.”
Not only is the ban senselessly cruel and unjustified, it acts against our prosperity. Writing from Silicon Valley, the center of the country’s innovations, the partners of Foundation Capital include immigrants from Mexico, China, India, and Canada, as well as natives from the American South, Midwest, Northeast, and West. Our wider Foundation family and portfolio of companies is comprised of individuals from all walks of life, including refugees and immigrants from around the world. We know from lived experience, therefore, that the dynamism of the American economy is a direct result of its pluralism. Of the vibrancy and creativity of people from different backgrounds coming together to collaborate, and better themselves, and contribute.
We also know that when we barred Chinese immigrants in 1882; when we interned fellow citizens of Japanese ancestry during World War II; when we turned away Jewish refugees, to be murdered at places like Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz — when we, as a country, have given in to fear and prejudice, it has redounded to our everlasting shame. Xenophobia and ethnic scapegoating cannot be the basis of American policy.
We therefore say with the force of the full partnership: President Trump’s immigration ban is foolhardy and it is immoral.
Effective immediately, the partnership is making a significant contribution to the ACLU and offering support to anyone in the Foundation Capital community who is at risk. And we are reaffirming, in the strongest possible terms, our commitment to openness and democratic values. We believe that America is greatest when it welcomes talent and perseverance, and offers safe haven to the vulnerable.