New York International, with its mission to help internationals to connect and be successful in the United States, condemns President Trump’s travel ban for seven predominately Muslim countries.
New York International has been founded on the belief that the city’s business environment is hard to navigate for internationals setting up businesses and even harder to be successful. Years ago, finding office space was a real challenge for both local and international entrepreneurs. Finding housing, schools, and health care, as well as getting a visa were challenging tasks. New York City and other cities have worked hard to make it easier. Office space is no longer an issue and even entrepreneurs have an easier way to expand their businesses with the city’s IN2NYC program. In the past five years, hundreds of internationals have expanded or built businesses in New York City, contributing jobs, diversity and ideas. We know many of them.
While we support borders and immigration control, the current executive order is the wrong way to go several reasons:
- Immigrants are more than twice as likely to start a business as the native-born population. In fact many US tech startups have international co-founders including Tesla Motors, LinkedIn, Zipcar, Google, Intel, Yahoo!, eBay, and WhatsApp.
- More than half of the companies on the current list of US technology startups valued at $1 billion or more were started by immigrants.
- Most often, the reason companies build and grow companies here in New York City is the rich diversity the city and its residents provide.
- From a humanitarian perspective, the US has only had a small part to play so far in helping refugees. Taking even that away is simply ridiculous. According to Harvard’s Michael Ignatieff in four years of bloody conflict, America has given refuge to scarcely 2,000 Syrians. That’s less than the number who arrive in Germany every day.
- It is our belief that the leader of the free world should make decisions based on facts and arguments, not populist sentiments. Like so many others we at New York International came to the US as entrepreneurs mainly because of America’s strong and compelling values of freedom, diversity, and openness. Mr. Trump has indicated that the purpose of this order is to protect the American people. However, according to a recent study by the Cato Institute, the chance of a being killed by a refugee terrorist in the US is one in 3.64 billion per year. The ban will do absolutely nothing to keep America safe from terrorism but will have the world question American values in times when they are more needed than ever.
New York City and the United States were built on the promise of a better future for everyone who works hard. We believe in these principles that is why we signed NYC:Tech’s letter to the president.
In Lin-Manuel Miranda’s words: Rise up. New York.