210 US VCs, investors, and startups have signed a letter saying they are “deeply troubled” by President Trump’s immigration ban.
The letter was put together by Engine, a Silicon Valley lobbying group, and its signatories include 500 Startups founder Dave McClure, Ron Conway, and Pinterest. (The letter was first reported by Politico).
The letter reads:
“We are deeply troubled by the recent Executive Order banning citizens of seven countries and refugees from entering the US, as well as the recently leaked draft Executive Order suggesting plans to roll back worker visa and parole programs. We believe these actions are both morally and economically misguided, and will inflict irreversible harm on the startup community and America’s ability to compete globally.”
Other signatories included Accel, General Assembly, and First Round Capital. The letter also takes issue with Trump’s stance on H-1B visas, which allow Silicon Valley to import highly skilled foreign workers. Trump is reportedly drafting an executive order that would tighten the rules and prioritise US workers. The letter states:
“Startups depend on the talents of immigrants to address significant shortfalls in the availability of technical, skilled IT professionals. The fact that so many startups rely on H-1B visas only serves to illustrate this fact, since no sensible, time-constrained startup would opt to rely on a bureaucratically difficult process for hiring foreign-born employees if simply hiring qualified American workers was an option.”
The letter is dated February 7 and appears to be open to new signatories at the time of writing.
It stands separate from an amicus filing signed by more than 100 tech companies as part of Washington state and Minnesota’s suit against Trump’s travel ban. Here’s the Engine letter in full so far: