Tech executives are offering to match donations to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) following the enactment of an executive order banning entry to refugees and visa holders from seven countries.
As multiple executives and CEOs of technology companies have come out in opposition of what’s essentially being called an immigration ban, some have chosen to do so by offering to match individuals’ donations on Twitter. Early Twitter investor Chris Sacca, for example, was an early one to start the trend and offered to match donations to those who would direct message or respond with receipts.
A number of executives also followed:
- Stripe CEO Patrick Collison
- Nest founder Tony Fadell
- Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson, Joanne Wilson, Amy Batchelor and Brad Feld
- USV partner Albert Wenger and Ziggeo CEO Susan Danziger
- Homebrew Venture partners Hunter Walk and Satya Patel
- Intercom CEO Eoghan McCabe
- Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield
- Xamarin co-founder Nat Friedman
- Sequoia Capital’s Mike Vernal
- Charles River Ventures partner Izhar Armony
- Facebook’s head of advertising Andrew “Boz” Bosworth
In addition, Google has created a $2 million “crisis fund” that can be matched by up to $2 million in donations from employees. The fund is for four organizations: the ACLU, Immigrant Resource Center, International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps, according to that report. Google executives are separately giving money to the cause, though the report didn’t cite specifically who. A spokesperson for Google confirmed the existence of the fund.
The ACLU challenged the executive order and won an emergency stay that will allow those who landed in the U.S. with a valid visa (or are currently in transit) to enter the country and stay. The stay was issued by a federal court in New York.
Protests erupted Saturday following the executive order, putting pressure on prominent members of the tech industry and executives to come out against the immigration ban. And, for the most part, executives in the largest companies have made some kind of statement either internally or publicly. The order in particular placed challenges on companies like Google and Uber, which may have employees working abroad that may not have the ability to get back in the country following the order.
Uber, for example, said it would create a $3 million defense legal fund to cover legal, immigration and translation costs for drivers affected by the ban. Lyft CEO Logan Green said the company would donate $1 million to the ACLU over four years and came out strongly against the order.
For the millionaires and billionaires of Silicon Valley these increments in the tens of thousands of dollars may seem nominal (with Sacca’s being among the highest). But at the same time it’s given these executives and prominent members of the community a way to come out against the ban in a some measurable fashion, and it’s apparently been successful in getting people to donate to the ACLU.