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.


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:

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 


Riaz Haq said...

#ACLU raises record $24 Million in online donations this weekend. #Trump's #MuslimBan … 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...

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

Anonymous said...

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

"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.

Indian Hindus praying to Visa gods at temples:

Riaz Haq said...

#Trump strategist Steve Bannon says too many #Asian #technology CEOs bad for #America. #SiliconValley … 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 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

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. … 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

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 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."

Rks 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

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 …

Riaz Haq said...

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

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 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”

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...

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

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...

#India's tech graduates fear #America may shut them out. #Trump via @CNNMoney

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

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 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:

Riaz Haq said...

83% Of #America's Top High School #Science Students Are The Children Of #Immigrants

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...

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

Riaz Haq said...

Under #Trump, non-immigrant #US visas for #Muslim nations fall 44% overall. Down 26% from #Pakistan to 4,200 a month

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.

Riaz Haq said...

On this day in 1923, the U.S. Supreme Court decided unanimously to bar #SouthAsians from becoming #American citizens and to denaturalize those who had already done so in the landmark decision, United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind. #Scotus #India #Pakistan

Thind, who immigrated to the United States in 1913 and even trained at Camp Lewis in Washington to fight with the U.S. Army in World War I, had begun his personal struggle for citizenship five years earlier, in 1918. Through its decision, the Supreme Court quashed the hopes of Thind and fellow South Asians in the United States to gain full recognition as American citizens. It was not until 1946, more than two decades later, that South Asians were again allowed the right of citizenship.

An article published in the Literary Digest, "Hindus Too Brunette To Vote Here," provides an explanation of the racial logic behind the Supreme Court decision.1 The issue at hand was what was meant by “white.” Thind, and many others, argued that according to the "racial science” of the day, South Asians were descendants of Indian Aryans who belonged to the “Caucasian race.” Using this racial algebra, Thind too was “white” and thus eligible for citizenship.2 The Supreme Court responded:

“It would be obviously illogical to convert words of common speech used in a statute into words of scientific terminology when neither the latter nor science, for whose purpose they were coined, was within the contemplation of the framers of the statute are to be interpreted in accordance with the understanding of the common man, from whose vocabulary they were taken.”
The Supreme Court further concluded that the Hindu “is of such character and extent that the great body of our people instinctively recognize it and reject the thought of assimilation.” Moreover, the Court struck against the racial logic that Thind had utilized, citing that the term “Aryan” indicated a “common linguistic root buried in remotely ancient soil” which was “inadequate to prove common racial origin.”

Thind, however, continued to live in the U.S., receiving a Ph.D. at Berkeley, and eventually receiving his citizenship in 1936 after Congress had decided that veterans of World War I should be eligible for naturalization.5 In 1940, Thind eventually married his wife Vivian, who herself became an active member in the Indian-America Society, and he continued to lecture across the country on issues of non-violence, spirituality, and metaphysics; he passed away in 1967.
1. It is important to note that the term 'Hindu' in the article is meant as a racial classification, not a religious one.
2. A similar case occurred months earlier, when Takao Ozawa, developed a phenotypical argument, stating that being Japanese, his skin was just as white than the average white person. The Supreme Court ruled against him.
3. The spectre of Blackness is evident in the decision, as the Justice Sutherland concludes how linguistic commonalities do not prove racial commonality: “Our own history has witnessed the adoption of the English tongue by millions of negroes, whose descendants can never be classified racially with the descendants of white persons.”
4. Lopez, Ian Haney. White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race. New York: NYU Press, 1997. 67.
5. Chi, Sang and Emily Moberg Robinson. Voices of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Experience. Santa Barbara: Greenwood, 2012. 339.

Riaz Haq said...

Eugenics, Anti-Immigration Laws Of The Past Still Resonate Today, Journalist Says

Nearly 100 years ago, Congress passed a restrictive law that cut the overall number of immigrants coming to the United States and put severe limits on those who were let in.

Journalist Daniel Okrent says that the eugenics movement — a junk science that stemmed from the belief that certain races and ethnicities were morally and genetically superior to others — informed the Immigration Act of 1924, which restricted entrance to the U.S.

"Eugenics was used as a primary weapon in the effort to keep Southern and Eastern Europeans out of the country," Okrent says. "[The eugenics movement] made it a palatable act, because it was based on science or presumed science."

Okrent notes the 1924 law drastically cut the number of Jews, Italians, Greeks and Eastern Europeans that could enter the country. Even during World War II, when hundreds of thousands of people were displaced and dying, access remained limited. The limits remained in place until 1965, when the Immigration and Nationality Act ended immigration restrictions based on nationality, ethnicity and race.

Okrent sees echos of the 1924 act in President Trump's hard-line stance regarding immigration: "The [current] rhetoric of criminality, the attribution of criminality — not to individual criminals but to hundreds of thousands of people of various nationalities — that's very similar to the notion of moral deficiency that was hurled by the eugenicists at the Southern and Eastern Europeans of the 1910s and '20s."

On what immigration was like at the turn of the 20th century, before the Immigration Act of 1924

Ellis Island opens in 1892 and within a few years it becomes one of the busiest port spots anywhere in the U.S. Ellis Island was a teeming hive of activity as hundreds of thousands — in some years more than a million — immigrants came pouring through. [It] was a very, very busy place and a very alienating place for a lot of people, because of the examination that people had to go through, particularly for tuberculosis, trachoma and other diseases. But once through the line, and then onto the ferry boat that took people to Manhattan, it was really a wonderful place to have been.

On the Immigration Act of 1924, and the quotas set up to restrict immigration

First, there is an overall quota. At various times it was 300,000 people, then it got chopped down to ... 162,000 people. ... The second part is where did these people come from? And it was decided that, well, let's continue to reflect the population of America as it has become, so we will decide where people can come from based on how many people of their same nationality were already here. ...

If 10 percent of the current American population came from country A, then 10 percent of that year's immigrants could come from country A. Except — and this is probably the most malign and dishonest thing that came out of this entire movement — they didn't do this on the basis of the 1920 census, which had been conducted just four years before, or the 1910, or even the 1900. But those numbers were based on the population in 1890, before the large immigration from Eastern and Southern Europe had begun. So to any question about whether there was any racist or anti-Semitic or anti-Italian intent, this established there clearly was. ...

Riaz Haq said...

#Census2021: #California’s population declined in 2020 first time in 100 years. Golden state is still the largest #US state with 39.5 million people. #SiliconValley population continued grow with Santa Clara County 7.44% & Alameda County 11.07% growth.

Not surprisingly, California's Los Angeles County(/us-counties/ca/los-angeles-county-population) is the largest county in the state, as well as the nation, with a huge population of 10,150,558 that continues to grow – the most recent census shows that its population has increased by 3.32% since the last census. A number of other Californian counties also boast large populations, although they look small in comparison to Los Angeles County. San Diego County has a population of 3,337,685 and a growth rate of 7.8%, while neighboring Orange County has 3,190,400 residents and a growth rate of 6%.

The smallest county in California is Alpine County, with its population of just 1,120. This total represents a decrease of 4.7% since the last census count performed in 2010. Sierra County and Modoc County follow, with populations of 2,999 and 8,859, respectively, and negative growth rates of 7.4% and 8.5%. Many other counties have fewer than fifty thousand residents, such as Trinity County (12,839), Del Norte County (27,450), and Siskiyou County (43,511) – each of these counties also show negative growth rates. However, one smaller county, San Benito County (59,335) has increased its population by an impressive 6.85% since the last census.

Alameda County, with its sizeable population of 1,653,236, has shown the largest population growth, with a substantial increase of 10.1% – this can perhaps be attributed to its proximity to San Francisco. Indeed, San Francisco County also has a substantial population growth of 8.73% and 876,103 residents. Lassen County has the highest negative growth, with its 31,000 residents representing a significant decrease of 10.7%.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan is the top source country for Muslim immigrants to US

No single country accounts for more than 15% of adult Muslim immigrants to the United States (15% are from Pakistan).8 The countries with the next-highest totals are Iran (11% of Muslim immigrants), India (7%), Afghanistan (6%), Bangladesh (6%), Iraq (5%), Kuwait (3%), Syria (3%) and Egypt (3%).