Monday, January 30, 2017

Massive Show of Support for Muslims in Silicon Valley after Trump's Ban

Thousands of protesters and dozens of civil rights lawyers from ACLU and CAIR flocked to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to free Muslim travelers detained by the US Customs and Immigration Service after President Donald Trump's Muslim Ban executive order over the weekend.

Silicon Valley companies rely on technology talent from many Muslim nations around the world. They also do significant business in the Islamic world. It is in Silicon Valley's best self-interest for the United States to have friendly ties with world's 1.5 billion Muslims. Among the most famous sons of Muslim immigrants was the legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs.

Anti-Ban Protest at San Francisco International Airport 

While the scene with anti-ban protesters and civil rights lawyers was repeated at all major international airports across the United States, what was special about San Francisco was the presence of Silicon Valley tech elite,  including Google cofounder Sergey Brin and Y Combinator president Sam Altman,  among the protesters.  The Who's Who of America's technology world work with tens of thousands of Muslim technologists everyday. They have all spoken out against Trump's Muslim ban. Meanwhile, several Silicon Valley venture capitalists have committed to match donations to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the biggest organization of civil rights lawyers in the United States. ACLU says it has already raised over $10 million so far to fight Trump's Muslim Ban in the US Court system.

Silicon Valley Muslims:

Silicon Valley companies rely on technology talent from many Muslim nations around the world. They also do significant business in the Islamic world. It is in Silicon Valley's best self-interest for the United States to have friendly ties with world's 1.5 billion Muslims. Among the most famous sons of Muslim immigrants was the legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs.

The US-born Muslims make up the largest percentage at 34% of all Muslims in San Francisco Bay Area, followed by 14% born in Pakistan, 11% in Afghanistan, 10% in India, 3% in Egypt and 2% each in Iran, Jordan, Palestine and Yemen.
Bay Area Muslims by Country of Birth 

There are 35,000 Pakistani-born Muslims in San Francisco Bay Area,  or 14% of the 250,000 Muslims who call the Bay Area home, according to the study. Bay Area Muslim community constitutes 3.5 percent of the area’s total population and is one of the highest concentrations of Muslims in the country.

As of 2013, South Asian Muslims, including Pakistanis, have the highest income levels, with nearly half (49%) of them having a household income above $100,000. In comparison, those groups with the lowest proportion of household incomes above $100,000 were Hispanic Muslims (15%), Afghans (10%), and African American Muslims (10%).

The Bay Area Muslim community is very diverse in terms of race and ethnicity:

South Asians (30%)

Arabs (23%)

Afghans (17%),

African Americans (9%)

Asian/Pacific Islanders (7%)

Whites (6%)

Iranians (2%)

Silicon Valley Tech Elite Protest:

While Sergey Brin (Google) and Sam Altman (Y Combinator) physically joined the protest at San Francisco International Airport, there are many more among the Who's Who of the tech world who have voiced their opposition to Trump's Muslim Ban: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Tesla founder Elon Musk, Netflix founder Reed Hastings,  Apple CEO Tim Cook, PayPal cofounder Max Levchin, AirBnB founder Brian Chesky, DropBox founder Drew Houston, and many many more. They all know how critical the Muslim immigrant talent is to the success of their companies.

Many of the tech elite cite the fact that legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs was the son a Syrian Muslim immigrant father Abdul Fattah Jandali.

Summary:

Silicon Valley tech elite have joined the growing protests against Trump's Muslim Ban. Some have shown up at San Francisco International Airport while others have issued statements through social media to voice their opposition. Several venture capitalists have committed to match all individual contributions to  ACLU,  the civil rights lawyers' organization  that has already raised $10 million over the weekend to fight Trump's executive order banning Muslims. They all know how critical Muslim immigrant talent pool is for the continuing success of Silicon Valley technology industry.

Here's video clip of a discussion on Trump's Muslim Ban:

https://youtu.be/DYrc5BpjLiA





https://vimeo.com/201559485


Implications of Trump's Muslim Ban, Mexico Wall from Ikolachi on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Trump's Muslim Ban

Steve Jobs: the Son of Syrian Muslim Immigrant Father

The Trump Phenomenon

Islamophobia in America

Silicon Valley Pakistani-Americans

Pakistani-American Leads Silicon Valley's Top Incubator

Silicon Valley Pakistanis Enabling 2nd Machine Revolution

Karachi-born Triple Oscar Winning Graphics Artist

Pakistani-American Ashar Aziz's Fire-eye Goes Public

Two Pakistani-American Silicon Valley Techs Among Top 5 VC Deals

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision 

26 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

#ACLU raises record $24 Million in online donations this weekend. #Trump's #MuslimBan http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/01/30/aclu_received_24_million_in_online_donations_this_weekend.html?wpsrc=sh_all_dt_tw_top … via @slate

The American Civil Liberties Union broke all its fundraising records this weekend as it became the main group challenging President Donald Trump’s immigration restrictions. The ACLU raised $24,164,691 this weekend from 356,306 online donations after Trump signed the order suspending the country’s refugee program and banning entry into the United States of citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The nonprofit organization usually raises $4 million a year from online donations, ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Romero told Yahoo News earlier on Sunday when the number stood at $10 million. “People are fired up and want to be engaged. What we’ve seen is an unprecedented public reaction to the challenges of the Trump administration.”

The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of two Iraqi men who were detained at the JFK Airport in New York that resulted in a federal judge blocking part of Trump’s order on Saturday night. The organization that vowed the day after the election to be “eternally vigilant” during Trump’s presidency has seen its membership double to 1 million members since Nov. 8.

"People understand the threats the Trump administration poses and they are willing to take action to fight those threats," Romero said. "They don't just want to write a check and be done with it."

The donations saw a huge boost thanks in part to some big headline-grabbing names supporting the ACLU’s efforts. Singer Sia, for example, wrote on Twitter that she would match up to $100,000 in donations. Rosie O’Donnell followed suit with the same pledge. The founders of ride-share company Lyft also said they would donate $1 million to the ACLU over the next four years.

Riaz Haq said...

"Let me save the government some money and offer up the data right now," he (Fareed Zakaria, CNN GPS) said, quoting a study by Alex Nowrasteh of the CATO Institute, a conservative think tank that has tallied the number of Americans killed on US soil from 1975 to 2015 by citizens of the seven countries.
"Iraq - zero, Iran -zero, Syria - zero, Yemen - zero, Libya - zero, Somalia - zero, Sudan -- zero," Zakaria said.
As to how these particular countries were chosen, Zakaria said it was "truly mysterious," before observing that "none of the Muslim majority countries that have a Trump hotel, building or office are on the list."
"There is really no rational basis for this ban," he said, before adding that it could only be explained by looking at what he considered to be the hallmark of Trump's political career: "the exploitation of fear."
"From the birther campaign to the talk of Mexican rapists, Trump has always trafficked in fear mongering," Zakaria said.
To "present himself as the country's protector," Trump had chosen to "punish ordinary men, women and children who are fleeing terrorism and violence," Zakaria said.
"These people are the roadkill of Trump's posturing," he added.
"The image, reputation and goodwill of the United States of America as the beacon of the world" was destroyed by the executive order, Zakaria said.
"Donald Trump seems to want to turn off that lamp on the Statue of Liberty."

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/29/us/zakaria-take-executive-order-cnntv/

Riaz Haq said...

#TheDailyShow's Hasan Minhaj on #Trump's #MuslimBan

https://www.facebook.com/thedailyshow/videos/10155009429511800/

Anonymous said...

Oh so now Fareed Zakaria talks sense. I thought he only talks nonsense when he bashes Pakistan :-)

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/31/trump-travel-ban-tech-companies-uber-lyft-apple-google

"Indeed, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft all donated more to the Republican party than the Democratic party in the 2016 election, despite the Republican party’s anti-immigrant positions, according to the Center for Responsive Politics."

Riaz Haq said...


Anon: " Oh so now Fareed Zakaria talks sense. I thought he only talks nonsense when he bashes Pakistan :-)"

Fareed Zakaria has his powerful backers as a fierce defender of American imperialism. He rarely disagrees with the US Deep State's long term policies of global domination

BTW, many of Fareed's fellow countrymen, particularly Modi loving Hindu Nationalists, are ecstatic about the Muslim ban. Their only regret is that Pakistan is not on the list yet

But now Trump is planning to cut H1b visas that's spooking Indians.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/31/technology/india-h1b-visa-trump-tech-companies/


Indian Hindus praying to Visa gods at temples:


http://ht3.cdn.turner.com/money/big/news/2016/02/26/india-visa-temple.cnnmoney_1024x576.mp4

Riaz Haq said...

#Trump strategist Steve Bannon says too many #Asian #technology CEOs bad for #America. #SiliconValley http://www.theverge.com/2016/11/16/13653490/steve-bannon-trump-presidency-chief-strategist-breitbart-tech-visa?utm_campaign=theverge&utm_content=entry&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter … via @Verge

President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist seems to think there are too many immigrants leading Silicon Valley. Steve Bannon, who previously served as Breitbart News Network’s executive chairman, hinted at some of his views on foreign workers at technology companies in the past. In an interview between Trump and Bannon that took place last year, and that The Washington Post resurfaced yesterday, Bannon alluded to the idea that foreign students should return to their respective countries after attending school in the US, instead of sticking around and working at or starting tech companies.

Trump voiced concern over these students attending Ivy League schools and then going home: “We have to be careful of that, Steve. You know, we have to keep our talented people in this country,” Trump said.

When asked if he agreed, Bannon responded: “When two-thirds or three-quarters of the CEOs in Silicon Valley are from South Asia or from Asia, I think . . . ” he didn’t finish his sentence. “A country is more than an economy. We’re a civic society.”

While Bannon didn’t explicitly say anything against immigrants, he seemed to hint at the idea of a white nationalist identity with the phrase “civic society.” Taken in tandem with the stories Bannon allowed to go up on Breitbart News, including pieces that attacked women, feminists, political correctness, muslims, and trans people, Bannon’s comment wouldn’t come as a surprise.

Meanwhile, foreign-born CEOs, including Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, have tried to quell concerns from employees. In a note last week, Nadella and Microsoft congratulated Trump, while saying that the company’s commitment to “fostering a diverse and inclusive culture” remains “steadfast.” Mark Zuckerberg-backed FWD.us has also said it plans to reject and work against a rollback or freeze on reform of the H-1B visa program. The H-1B visa is the most widely used system for bringing high-skilled foreign labor into the US. For now, Trump’s policy on those visas is still up in the air.

Riaz Haq said...

5-year-old boy handcuffed at Washington Dulles airport for being 'security threat'. #Trump's #MuslimBan

http://metro.co.uk/2017/01/31/boy-5-handcuffed-at-us-border-for-being-security-threat-to-usa-6417601/

The little boy was seen on CNN being showered by kisses from his mum as they were reunited.
According to the Mirror, Senator Chris Van Hollen, who revealed that the child was from America, described the incident as ‘outrageous’.
He allegedly added that the boy was detained despite authorities having advance notice of his arrival.

Van Hollen added that he later tried to see if the child had been released – but was refused information by airport authorities.
On Friday, Trump signed an executive order banning refugees from entering the country, during a Pentagon swearing-in ceremony for Secretary of Defence, James Mattis.
He claims that the order is designed to ‘prohibit radical terrorists from entering the country’ – however, it will temporarily ban any refugee from entering the United States.
No new visas will be issued from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen for at least 30 days.
An indefinite ban will be implemented on Syrian refugees.
Refugees from the other six countries will be banned for 120 days.


Riaz Haq said...

Proposed #Trump Executive Order Clamps Down on #H1B #Visas. #India Worried. http://www.indiawest.com/news/global_indian/proposed-trump-executive-order-clamps-down-on-h--b/article_e07cb01e-e8ad-11e6-9a24-bb5b1668a926.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=user-share … via @IndiaWest

President Donald Trump is currently considering an executive order that would make sweeping changes to highly-skilled foreign worker visa programs, including H-1B visas.

A leaked draft of the executive order titled “Protecting American jobs and workers by strengthening the integrity of foreign worker visa programs” appeared on the New York Times Web site Jan. 27.

“With this executive order, President Trump will help fulfill several campaign promises by aligning immigration policies with the national interest, and ensuring that officials administer our laws in a manner that prioritizes the interests of American workers and – to the maximum degree possible – the jobs, wages, and well-being of those workers,” read the draft order, signed by Andrew Bremberg, assistant to the president and the director of the Domestic Policy Council at the White House.

Bremberg unfathomably focused on undocumented immigration in his preamble to the order, and also incomprehensively mentioned the impact of highly-skilled foreign worker programs on “low-skilled, teenage, and African American and Hispanic workers.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from Northern California’s Silicon Valley, also introduced legislation in the House last week, mandating that H-1B workers be paid a minimum wage of $130,000, to curtail what she called “the abuse of the work visa program.”

Shares of top Indian IT companies sank Jan. 31 in response to news of the re-formatting of the H-1B program. A total of 65,000 H-1B visas are allocated each year, with about 70 percent going to Indians. The H-1B visa allows American employers to hire highly-skilled foreign workers for a two-year period, which can be renewed.

Indian American immigration attorney Kalpana Peddibhotla, who handles a large number of H-1B applications each year, told India-West she has already seen a drop in applicants.

Trump’s “Buy American, Hire Americans” campaign slogan has had a chilling effect on Indian nationals willing to travel to the U.S. for temporary work. “It is not a drop in need, it is a drop in the number of people willing to fill those needs,” said the Newark, Calif.-based attorney.

Peddibhotla said there were several paragraphs of “unsettling language” in the six page order, particularly a directive that would mandate the Department of Homeland Security to “ensure that beneficiaries of the program are the best and the brightest.”

The attorney said this was troubling, as it invites government oversight into private employers’ hiring decisions. “It imposes a lot of ambiguous language on employers,” she said.

Furthermore, she told India-West, the term “national interest” is vague, and not defined in the order, noting that the order mandates DHS within 90 days to determine whether foreign worker programs violate prevailing immigration laws and are not in the national interest.

The text of the order does not impose an immediate freeze on the number of H-1B visas issued this year, but Peddibhotla said the language suggests there will be a reduction in the number of visas issued in future years.

Peddibhotla said the continuance of work authorization for some H-4 spouses of H-1B visa holders is uncertain and undefined in the draft order. At a press briefing Jan. 30, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters: “You’ve already seen a lot of action on immigration and I think whether it’s that or the spousal visas or other types of visas, I think there’s an overall need to look at these programs. You’ll see both through executive action and through comprehensive measures a way to address immigration as a whole.”

Riaz Haq said...

BBC News - #India's road accident victim, a #Muslim, bleeds to death as bystanders film. #Modi #Karnataka

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-38839363

Footage of a teenage victim of a hit-and-run accident pleading with unresponsive onlookers to take him to hospital has caused shock in India.
Local media reported people gathered around and took pictures and videos of the injured teen, but did not help him.
Anwar Ali, 17, was taken to hospital around half an hour after his bicycle collided with a bus in Karnataka state.
He bled to death. Doctors say he could have survived if he had received medical care sooner.
The incident in Koppal district in Karnataka has revived controversy about people being reluctant to help road accident victims in India.

Some activists argue that it is not a lack of compassion but an entire system stacked against helping road victims.
"The foremost reason is intimidation by police," safety campaigner Piyush Tewari told the BBC last year.
"Oftentimes if you assist someone the police will assume you're helping that person out of guilt."
Apart from the fear of being falsely implicated, people also worry about becoming trapped as a witness in a court case - legal proceedings can be notoriously protracted in India.
And if they helped the victim get to hospital, they feared coming under pressure to stump up fees for medical treatment.
In May last year, India's Supreme Court ruled that "good Samaritans" would be protected from harassment. Karnataka has also passed a law stipulating that people helping road accident victims would not be subjected to harassment.
However, correspondents say that many people are unaware of the rulings and do not trust police to follow them.

Riaz Haq said...

#Trump quickly condemns #Louvres attack, still quiet on #QuebecCityMosqueShooting @CNNPolitics. #Islamophobia http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/03/politics/trump-tweet-quebec-louvre/ Last Sunday night, a French-Canadian man allegedly killed six people and injured five others during a shooting at a mosque in Quebec City.

President Donald Trump has not tweeted about or publicly mentioned that incident.
Early Friday morning, a man at the Louvre museum in Paris yelled "Allahu Akbar" -- in Arabic, "God is greatest" -- and attacked a group of soldiers, police said. One soldier was slightly injured.
Within hours, Trump tweeted about the incident, calling the suspect a "radical Islamic terrorist" and imploring the US to "GET SMART."

Trumps contrasting reactions to the two attacks have raised questions about how the identities of the suspects and victims informs the President's response.
Daniel Dale, the Washington correspondent for The Toronto Star, was one of several reporters to compare the President's rapid response to the Louvre attack with his silence on Quebec.

At the Louvre, the suspected attacker rushed toward a group of soldiers and guards while wielding a machete, Paris police said. He was shot by a soldier and apprehended. He had no identity documents on him, police said.
By any measure, the shooting at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center was more destructive and random. Witnesses said the alleged gunman fired indiscriminately into a crowd of worshipers at the mosque, which included men, women and children.
The suspect in the Quebec attack, Alexandre Bissonnette, is a 27-year-old French-Canadian who had been known for far-right views he posted online.
"I wrote him off as a xenophobe," Vincent Boissoneault, a classmate, told The Globe and Mail. "I didn't even think of him as totally racist, but he was enthralled by a borderline racist nationalist movement."

19640909rk said...

Riaz Bhai,

your article and the 10 comments all written by you- make for a blog which is one directional. All your blogs seem to say - Hindus bad. White Americans- bad, Muslims - good. Pakistani Americans - Very good. You need to understand, the problem with USA is not Islamophobia. Its Islamonausea. Too long Islamists had a field day doing what they feel was right. Nobody had the guts to put them in Place. Trump is the first leader from west. I am sure more leaders will emerge from Europe also. Muslims seem to be unable to integrate well with the west. They in turn create problems for Hindus too. Because ordinary American cannot differentiate between them. You show a lot of glee that Hindus will also be hit with the Trump ban. But take my word. We never make an issue of it. We bare not radical.

Riaz Haq said...

Truck art decor: #Canada PM Trudeau gets splashy honor in #Pakistan (PHOTOS). #diversity #tolerance #Trump

https://www.rt.com/viral/376315-truck-art-trudeau-canada-pakistan/


Often lauded for his views on diversity and multiculturalism, Trudeau said refugees were welcome in Canada in pointed tweets a day after Donald Trump’s immigration ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries.


Such views have made him something of a superstar in Pakistan as he has embraced their culture many times in a highly authentic way.

From murals and busts to songs and biopics, world leaders throughout history have been immortalized in a variety of different art forms. However, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can now boast a rather chic honor given to him in Pakistan.
‘Truck art’ is a massively popular art form in Southeast Asia, and in Pakistan in particular. It stems from a time when local artisans would ornately decorate the carriages of diplomats and aristocrats during British rule.

Entrepreneurs throughout Pakistan adopted the style for their own businesses to attract more customers through ornate displays on their commercial vehicles, and so a proud and long-standing tradition was born.


Riaz Haq said...

Who says #ResistTrump doesn't work? Check out resistance report. #Trump #MuslimBan https://www.facebook.com/690344821147429/videos/695659097282668/ …

Riaz Haq said...

#Apple, #Facebook and #Google Say #Trump’s Travel Ban Would Hurt Business. #MuslimBan #SiliconValley

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/06/business/trump-travel-ban-apple-google-facebook.html?_r=0

In a filing to a federal appeals court dated Sunday, nearly 100 technology companies argued that Mr. Trump’s temporary ban on all visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries would hurt their businesses and violate both immigration law and the United States Constitution. A lower court on Friday temporarily halted crucial parts of the ban, but the Trump administration said it would fight to have them reinstated.

“The tremendous impact of immigrants on America — and on American business — is not happenstance,” the companies said in a friend-of-the-court filing. “People who choose to leave everything that is familiar and journey to an unknown land to make a new life necessarily are endowed with drive, creativity, determination — and just plain guts.”

“The energy they bring to America,” it said, “is a key reason why the American economy has been the greatest engine of prosperity and innovation in history.”

Trump administration officials were not immediately available to comment late Sunday. The issue is set to be considered this week by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco.

In addition to Apple, Facebook and Google, major technology names that signed the brief included Microsoft, Uber, Twitter, Airbnb, Intel and Snap, the parent of Snapchat. A few names from outside the technology field, like Levi Strauss, the jeans maker, and Chobani, a yogurt company, also signed the brief. Separately, a group of prominent Democrats also protested the ban in a court filing.

The filing is likely to fray already tense relations between Mr. Trump and the technology industry. Its most prominent figures largely backed Mr. Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton, in last year’s election campaign.

Riaz Haq said...

#Princeton, #Harvard, 45 top #American colleges delivered a searing letter to #Trump. #MuslimBan http://read.bi/2k9WyEt via @bi_strategy

On Thursday, the presidents of 48 American colleges and universities delivered a searing letter to President Donald Trump taking aim at his executive order on immigration.

The letter, drafted by Princeton's president, Christopher L. Eisgruber, and the University of Pennsylvania's president, Amy Gutmann, and signed by 40 other college presidents said:

"This action unfairly targets seven predominantly Muslim countries in a manner inconsistent with America's best principles and greatest traditions. We welcome outstanding Muslim students and scholars from the United States and abroad, including the many who come from the seven affected countries ... This executive order is dimming the lamp of liberty and staining the country's reputation. We respectfully urge you to rectify the damage done by this order."

Their words come amid backlash over an executive order signed by Trump, who cited security concerns, that bars citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days and bars all refugee immigration to the US for 120 days.

"It really is a statement that felt very personal for me and also a statement about values that I think are defining for Princeton and other universities," Eisgruber told Business Insider.

Eisgruber noted that the order directly affected more than 50 students and faculty members at Princeton. Some of those people are overseas and having difficulty returning to the US, he said, with the rest residing in the US and worried they will be unable to travel internationally to visit family.

Eisgruber, the son of immigrant parents, also spoke about how his family history made the issue personal to him.

"My mother's family fled first from Germany and then from France — they were Jewish and they fled when the Nazis came to power — and they made it to this country in May of 1940," he said. "If we had a refugee ban in place in May of 1940 and my mother and her family had been turned away, they almost certainly would have been murdered."

His father, too, came to the US as an immigrant, as an exchange student from Germany in 1950.

"When I look at these families that are being affected by this order I see my parents and I see the dreams and aspirations that they had the threats that they faced," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

#Investment Guru Warns: “ #Trump is high volatility, and investors generally abhor volatility and shun uncertainty”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/06/business/dealbook/sorkin-seth-klarman-trump-investors.html?_r=1

He is the most successful and influential investor you have probably never heard of. His writings are so coveted and followed by Wall Street that a used copy of a book he wrote several decades ago about investing starts at $795 on Amazon, and a new copy sells for as much as $3,500.

Perhaps that’s why a private letter he wrote to his investors a little over two weeks ago about investing during the age of President Trump — and offering his thoughts on the current state of the hedge fund industry — has quietly become the most sought-after reading material on Wall Street.

He is Seth A. Klarman, the 59-year-old value investor who runs Baupost Group, which manages some $30 billion.

While Mr. Klarman has long kept a low public profile, he is considered a giant within investment circles. He is often compared to Warren Buffett, and The Economist magazine once described him as “The Oracle of Boston,” where Baupost is based. For good measure, he is one of the very few hedge managers Mr. Buffett has publicly praised.

In his letter, Mr. Klarman sets forth a countervailing view to the euphoria that has buoyed the stock market since Mr. Trump took office, describing “perilously high valuations.”

“Exuberant investors have focused on the potential benefits of stimulative tax cuts, while mostly ignoring the risks from America-first protectionism and the erection of new trade barriers,” he wrote.

“President Trump may be able to temporarily hold off the sweep of automation and globalization by cajoling companies to keep jobs at home, but bolstering inefficient and uncompetitive enterprises is likely to only temporarily stave off market forces,” he continued. “While they might be popular, the reason the U.S. long ago abandoned protectionist trade policies is because they not only don’t work, they actually leave society worse off.”

In particular, Mr. Klarman appears to believe that investors have become hypnotized by all the talk of pro-growth policies, without considering the full ramifications. He worries, for example, that Mr. Trump’s stimulus efforts “could prove quite inflationary, which would likely shock investors.”

And he appears deeply concerned about a swelling national debt that he suggests could undermine the economy’s growth over the long term.

“The Trump tax cuts could drive government deficits considerably higher,” Mr. Klarman wrote. “The large 2001 Bush tax cuts, for example, fueled income inequality while triggering huge federal budget deficits. Rising interest rates alone would balloon the federal deficit, because interest payments on the massive outstanding government debt would skyrocket from today’s artificially low levels.”

Much of Mr. Klarman’s anxiety seems to emanate from Mr. Trump’s leadership style. He described it this way: “The erratic tendencies and overconfidence in his own wisdom and judgment that Donald Trump has demonstrated to date are inconsistent with strong leadership and sound decision-making.”

He also linked this point — which is a fair one — to what “Trump style” means for Mr. Klarman’s constituency and others.

“The big picture for investors is this: Trump is high volatility, and investors generally abhor volatility and shun uncertainty,” he wrote. “Not only is Trump shockingly unpredictable, he’s apparently deliberately so; he says it’s part of his plan.”

While Mr. Klarman clearly is hoping for the best, he warned, “If things go wrong, we could find ourselves at the beginning of a lengthy decline in dollar hegemony, a rapid rise in interest rates and inflation, and global angst.”

Mr. Klarman is a registered independent and has given money to politicians from both parties. He has donated to Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, John McCain and Rudolph W. Giuliani as well as Hillary Clinton, Cory Booker and Mark Warner.

Riaz Haq said...

“Technology is too important and too embedded in our lives—from classrooms and cars to homes and hospitals—to leave so many behind when it comes to doing the stimulating work that makes all things digital possible,” states the Breaking the Mold report, which is targeted at investors.

And the divide, according to the report, is concerning. A few highlights:

A representation problem: The report found that blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans were underrepresented in the tech sector by 16 to 18 percentage points below their percentages in the workforce as a whole.

A promotion problem: While Asians are well-represented in the tech sector, they’re less likely to reach an executive rank than their white coworkers.

A day-to-day problem: People of color tend to leave their tech jobs at 3.5 times the rate of white men—and a big reason for that, according to the report, is that the work environments often aren’t friendly for minorities, who report isolation and discrimination on the job.

These figures are made more problematic by the fact that tech companies have struggled to properly address racial diversity issues, despite investing $1.2 billion to deal with the problem over the past five years.

According to an analysis of corporate filings with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, just one major tech company, Amazon, counts more than 10 percent of its employees as black, and just two, Amazon and Apple, have percentages of Latino employees that top 10 percent. In both cases, though, the story is complicated—Amazon’s numbers are pulled up by a significant warehouse business, which is noted for its low wages, while Apple’s retail business accounts for many of the company’s minority employees. In both cases, diversity is lacking among the firm’s high-skilled tech workers.

The report, which takes the stance that “less social inequality leads to a stronger economy for all,” suggests that investors should prioritize diversity in their funding decisions, that more detailed data on workplace demographics be released, that goals be set, and that executive compensation be tied to these goals.

The report also encourages white employees, particularly executives, to take a step forward and speak up on issues of diversity.

“Without real commitment to change from white executives who currently hold disproportionate power in tech companies, diversity and inclusion efforts can fall short,” the report says.

http://associationsnow.com/2017/02/report-racial-diversity-remains-problem-tech-firms/

http://breakingthemold.openmic.org/

Riaz Haq said...

#Trump plans to rescind #MuslimBan executive order, issue revised order - by bcn_sfex - The San Francisco Examiner

http://www.sfexaminer.com/trump-plans-rescind-travel-ban-executive-order-issue-revised-order/

The U.S. Department of Justice told a federal appeals court in San Francisco on Thursday that President Donald Trump plans to rescind an existing executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries and replace it with a new, narrower order “in the near future.”

Trump made a similar announcement during a news conference at the White House on Thursday, saying he expects to roll out the new order next week.

The Department of Justice said the revised order will address the concerns of a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled unanimously last week that Trump’s original Jan. 27 order appeared to violate the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of due process.

The original order barred visitors and refugees from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the country for 90 days. It also sought to stop refugees from all countries for 120 days and exclude Syrian refugees indefinitely.

The Department of Justice’s brief Thursday was submitted in response to the appeals court’s request for responses on whether the smaller panel’s decision should be reviewed by an expanded 11-judge panel.

The department said it is not requesting the expanded review.

Department of Justice lawyers wrote, “Rather than continuing this litigation, the president intends in the near future to rescind the order and replace it with a new, substantially revised executive order to eliminate what the panel erroneously thought were constitutional concerns.”

Riaz Haq said...

#Travel Press Reporting '#Trump Slump,' a Devastating Drop in #Tourism to the United States | Frommer's #MuslimBan

http://www.frommers.com/tips/miscellaneous/the-travel-press-is-reporting-the-trump-slump-a-devastating-drop-in-tourism-to-the-united-states

Though they may differ as to the wisdom of the move, the travel press and most travel experts are of one mind: They are currently drawing attention to an unintended consequence of the Trump-led efforts to stop many Muslims from coming to the U.S., pointing to a sharp drop in foreign tourism to our nation that imperils jobs and touristic income.

It’s known as the “Trump Slump.” And I know of no reputable travel publication to deny it.

Thus, the prestigious Travel Weekly magazine (as close to an “official” travel publication as they come) has set the decline in foreign tourism at 6.8%. And the fall-off is not limited to Muslim travelers, but also extends to all incoming foreign tourists. Apparently, an attack on one group of tourists is regarded as an assault on all.

As far as travel by distinct religious groups, flight passengers from the seven Muslim-majority nations named by Trump were down by 80% in the last week of January and first week of February, according to Forward Keys, a well-known firm of travel statisticians. On the web, flight searches for trips heading to the U.S. out of all international locations was recently down by 17%.

A drop of that magnitude, if continued, would reduce the value of foreign travel within the U.S. by billions of dollars. And the number of jobs supported by foreign tourists and their expenditures in the United States—and thus lost—would easily exceed hundreds of thousands of workers in hotels, restaurants, transportation, stores, tour operations, travel agencies, and the like.

While, earlier in the year, the Administration had boasted of saving 800 jobs in the Carrier Corporation, the drop-off in employment resulting from the travel ban would eclipse that figure.

According to the Global Business Travel Association, in only a single week following announcement of the ban against certain foreign tourists, the activity of business travel declined by nearly $185 million.

Other observers, including local tourist offices, have reached similar conclusions. In referring to New York City’s $60 billion tourist industry alone, the head of the city’s tourist effort complained that his agency’s effort to portray the United States as a welcoming destination to foreign citizens “was all in jeopardy.” Several other tourist officials have made like statements.

As you can see, there is plenty of evidence for a negative conclusion.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's tech graduates fear #America may shut them out. #Trump http://cnnmon.ie/2lnKkq1 via @CNNMoney

http://money.cnn.com/2017/02/26/technology/india-engineers-immigration-h1b-trump/

Ayush Suvalka has a lot going for him. He's about to graduate from one of the best engineering colleges in India and has already secured a job with the Bangalore branch of JPMorgan (JPM).
The 21-year-old computer science student isn't planning to spend his career in India's version of Silicon Valley. He hopes the big American investment bank will move him to its U.S. headquarters after a few years.
"It's always been America because the companies, all the big companies, are there," Suvalka said. "The life there is... really amazing."
President Trump and his desire to put "America First" could throw a wrench in those plans.
Related: Tech industry braces for Trump's visa reform
The Trump administration is looking to make changes to a host of visa programs, including restricting the H-1B visa that allows thousands of Indian techies to work in the U.S.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said last month that this may be done "through executive order and through working with Congress."

That could spell the end of the American Dream for Suvalka and many of his peers.
"Probably America is now out of the picture," he said.
Efforts to restrict foreign workers through legislation are already in progress -- multiple bills seeking curbs on the H-1B program have been introduced by Republican and Democrat lawmakers this year.
Dr. Savita Rani, head of career counseling at the Ramaiah Institute of Technology where Suvalka studies, says jobs at outsourcing companies are in high demand because of the potential to move to the U.S.
But the possibility of America's doors slamming shut is already sowing confusion among students.
"They were shattered and they did not know what to do," Rani said. "At this juncture, America has got a cold and India is sneezing."

-----------

In Bangalore, meanwhile, Suvalka is already sketching out a Plan B.
"I'm thinking of Canada or New Zealand," he said, mentioning two countries whose immigration websites saw a huge surge in traffic as Trump closed in on his election win last November.
"Canada is a bit cheaper than America and it has amazing job opportunities," the young engineer added. "You can get a visa easily."

Riaz Haq said...

‘Everyone’s nervous’: Some students in #India rethink U.S. study plans after #kansaskilling. #xenophobia #Trump

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/everyones-nervous-some-students-in-india-rethink-us-study-plans-after-kansas-shooting/2017/02/25/767041f4-c584-4c45-8913-838c7d6d7166_story.html?utm_term=.8b9ee26c6d32

Anupam Singh, a master’s student, once dreamed of coming to the United States for his PhD studies. But Wednesday’s seemingly racially charged shooting of two Indian men in Kansas reaffirmed his growing belief that the United States isn’t a hospitable place for foreign students.

“I would be scared to study in the U.S.,” he said Saturday outside a tea stall on the campus of the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi. “Did you read the newspapers yesterday? Two Indians were shot.”

A Navy veteran who had allegedly been intoxicated was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of two Indian software engineers in a crowded bar in Olathe, Kan., Wednesday evening. The assailant reportedly shouted, “Get out of my country!” One man died, and the second was injured. A patron who intervened was also hurt.

The possible hate crime has prompted anger in India and concern that the Trump-era United States is no longer a safe place for its thriving community of visiting Indian students, scholars and tech workers. The father of Alok Madasani, the Indian injured in the attack, appealed Friday from the Indian city of Hyderabad to “all the parents in India” not to send their children to the United States under “present circumstances.”

On a sunny day at one of India’s most prestigious science and technology campuses, the effects of Wednesday’s violence were keenly felt.

Graduate students said they were changing their postgraduate plans from the United States to universities in Canada or Australia. Others were fielding telephone calls from anxious parents.

And parents who brought younger students to a Rubik’s Cube competition said they hoped the situation was temporary, because studying abroad in the United States remains the goal for many of the country’s brightest students.

The number of international students at U.S. universities topped 1 million last year, according to government data, with the number of Indians up 14 percent, to 206,584.

“I used to think of America as a place where there is greater racial equality than exists in India,” said Dhriti Ahluwalia, 26, a master’s student who wants to attend a public policy program in the United States. “Now people are afraid. There is inequality. There is racism.”

Concern over the troubled U.S. political climate, beginning with its rhetoric-charged presidential campaign, has reverberated through India’s thriving industry for test preparation and admissions coaching, which prepares students for study abroad.

Riaz Haq said...

#Trump admin ignores top #India officials' please, puts priority #H1B visas on hold http://ecoti.in/sqlSuZ via @economictimes

The Trump administration on Friday temporarily suspended the expedited premium processing of H1B visas as part of its squeeze on what it said is an overloaded guest worker program. The suspension came even as New Delhi pressed, without success, for a fair and rational approach on the matter from a trade and business perspective.

By paying an additional $1,225 premium, companies can have an H-1B application processed within 15 days, whereas a standard process takes three to six month ..


But even as the Indian officials said their "forceful presentation" to Congress and the administration over the past three days "has been met with a degree of understanding,'' the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) brought the axe down on the expedited processing system which many Indian and American companies use to facilitate the entry, and sometimes rotation, of tens of thousands of skilled professionals for project work in the US By paying an additional $1225 premium, companies ..

Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/57474361.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Riaz Haq said...

83% Of #America's Top High School #Science Students Are The Children Of #Immigrants
https://www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2017/03/11/83-of-americas-top-high-school-science-students-are-the-children-of-immigrants/#378c9832200f

A new study from the National Foundation for American Policy found a remarkable 83% (33 of 40) of the finalists of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search were the children of immigrants. The competition organized each year by the Society for Science & the Public is the leading science competition for U.S. high school students. In 2017, the talent search competition was renamed the Regeneron Science Talent Search, after its new sponsor Regeneron Pharmaceuticals,and a new group of 40 finalists – America's next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians – are competing in Washington, D.C., from March 9 to 15, 2017.

Both family-based and employment-based immigrants were parents of finalists in 2016. In fact, 75% – 30 out of 40 – of the finalists had parents who worked in America on H-1B visas and later became green card holders and U.S. citizens. That compares to seven children who had both parents born in the United States.

To put that in perspective, even though former H-1B visa holders represent less than 1% of the U.S. population, they were four times more likely to have a child as a finalist in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search than were parents who were both born in the United States.

Parents who were international students were more likely to have a child as a finalist than native-born parents. A total of 27 of the 40 children – 68% – had a parent who came to America as an international student. That means if international students cannot remain in America after graduation (through Optional Practical Training and improved visa policies) it will also deprive America of the potentially substantial contributions of their children.

Three of the finalists, or 7.5%, had parents who came to America as family-sponsored immigrants (although the number is four parents, or 10%, if one counts the family-sponsored immigrant who married an H-1B visa holder).

Among the 40 finalists of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search, 14 had parents both born in India, 11 had parents both born in China, and seven had parents both born in the United States. People of Indian and Chinese birth represent only about 1% of the U.S. population each, according to the Pew Research Center.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #software engineers cheapest but of poor quality. #SiliconValley most expensive. #bangalore https://qz.com/938495/bengaluru-indias-silicon-valley-offers-the-cheapest-engineers-but-the-quality-of-their-talent-is-another-story/ …

Bengaluru’s startup ecosystem is what it is because of its engineers.
With an average annual salary of $8,600, engineers in India’s tech hub cost 13 times less than their Silicon Valley counterparts, according to the 2017 Global Startup Ecosystem Report released on March 14. The city is home to the world’s cheapest crop of engineers, with the average annual pay of a resident software engineer falling well below the global figure of $49,000.
And companies, Indian and otherwise, choose to work out of Bengaluru because it is the most cost-efficient.

Not only has the tech center nurtured startups like Flipkart and Big Basket, it is also home to big foreign firms like Uber and Amazon.

However, the city’s talent pool poses challenges in access and quality. For the most part, “engineers haven’t been hired very quickly, experience is average, and visa success is low,” the report says. “The quality and professionalism of resources is also questionable in many cases,” Abhimanyu Godara, founder of US-based chatbot startup Bottr.me, which has a development team in Bangalore, said in the report.
The city, home to between 1,800 and 2,300 active startups, also has the youngest tech talent among all startup ecosystems.
Overall, Bengaluru bagged the 20th spot out of 55 cities when evaluated on parameters such as performance, funding, market research, talent, and startup experience by research firm Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network. Despite dropping five ranks from last year, it remains India’s favorite tech hub.

Riaz Haq said...

Muslims and Islam: Key findings in the U.S. and around the world

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/08/09/muslims-and-islam-key-findings-in-the-u-s-and-around-the-world/


Pew Survey of Muslims

Our 2017 survey of U.S. Muslims finds that Muslims in the United States perceive a lot of discrimination against their religious group. Moreover, a solid majority of U.S. Muslims are leery of President Donald Trump and think their fellow Americans do not see Islam as part of mainstream U.S. society. At the same time, however, Muslim Americans overwhelmingly say they are proud to be Americans, believe that hard work generally brings success in this country and are satisfied with the way things are going in their own lives.


U.S. Muslims Concerned About Their Place in Society, but Continue to Believe in the American Dream
Findings from Pew Research Center’s 2017 survey of U.S. Muslims

http://www.pewforum.org/2017/07/26/findings-from-pew-research-centers-2017-survey-of-us-muslims/

Riaz Haq said...

Under #Trump, non-immigrant #US visas for #Muslim nations fall 44% overall. Down 26% from #Pakistan to 4,200 a month
http://www.politico.com/interactives/2017/trump-travel-ban-muslim-visa-decline/

The monthly average of such visas issued to the six countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — has fallen 44 percent this year when compared with the monthly average in fiscal year 2016, according to State Department data.

Some South Asian countries also have seen declines. Pakistan, for instance, received 26 percent fewer non-immigrant visas in 2017 compared with its monthly average in fiscal year 2016.