Like many of us, I was alarmed by President Trump’s immigration and travel ban on Friday barring entry of citizens from seven countries into the US. On basically any level — moral, economic, or logical — this is the wrong thing to do and is antithetical to America’s principles. Turning our back on people from countries dealing with major humanitarian crises is against our values, and targeting groups largely based on religion is dangerous and disastrous policy. While this order will ultimately be ineffective, the signal it sends to America’s allies and enemies is the wrong one: it’s one of fear, distrust, and exclusion.
At Box, we deeply value openness and inclusion of people from all cultures, and we wouldn’t be here today without the amazing ingenuity and innovation provided by immigrants, including those from countries that are the focus of this executive order. Equally, as a company that powers collaboration around the world, this move hits close to home.
We believe in a world that should be getting closer because of the digital age, not more separated. This executive order and other recent events serve to divide us, undermining America’s role as a world leader and straining many important global relationships. Further, the unpredictable nature of these decisions make it more difficult to treat us as a trusted partner; when other countries do ultimately work with us, it will be despite -not out of respect for- our actions.
There really isn’t a clearer time when leaders and organizations must be principled on what America stands for. We can’t build our companies without amazing talent from all around the world. We can’t build healthy cultures if people don’t trust their status in our country, communities, and organizations. We can’t partner and grow globally without steady and measured action coming from our government. And above all, we don’t stand for very much if we can’t be compelled to care for vulnerable groups when we know we can help.
We need to make it extremely clear that this executive order takes our country in the wrong direction. I’d encourage anyone who can to donate to the ACLU (or other important groups like International Refugee Assistance Project or National Immigration Law Center) to help fight this ban on legal grounds, as well as support organizations like the IRC to help Syrian (and other) refugees. Separately, as a member of the Executive Council of TechNet, I will personally work with other technology companies to make our position clear to DC. There is a lot more to do to ensure America’s principles are maintained going forward, and over the coming weeks and months I will continue to fight for these values.