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Irish tech executives say Trump's travel ban 'makes no sense morally or economically'

Stripe and Intercom are matching public donations made to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Patrick Collison
Patrick Collison
Image: Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

IRISH TECH EXECUTIVES based in the US have criticised President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

Stripe CEO Patrick Collison and Intercom CEO Eoghan McCabe are among several executives offering to match donations made to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is challenging the legality of the ban.

On Friday, Trump signed an executive order barring all refugees from entering the US for three months. Those from war-ravaged Syria were set to be banned from entering the country indefinitely.

Trump said the ban was necessary to prevent “radical Islamic terrorists” from entering the nation. The ban affects people from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

The move sparked mass protests and led to Trump sacking the acting Attorney General when she ordered Justice Department lawyers not to defend his controversial immigration orders.

Speaking to Morning Ireland, Collison said: “The CEOs of the vast majority of technology companies have obviously come out against this, myself included.

“It’s not only the leaders of these tech companies but also employees and the broader community, where there have obviously been protests here in San Francisco and also across the country.”

Collison said he and others are now exploring “further legal avenues” they can go down to help get the ban reversed.

Almost anyone who isn’t blinkered by partisan political allegiances can see that the order makes no sense on a moral basis, on an economic basis or from a national security standpoint.

“Economically, there are so many extraordinary individuals and academics and businesspeople and doctors and members of society who originally grew up in some of these countries.”

Moving to Dublin

Intercom is also offering to relocate people from the countries affected by the ban from Silicon Valley to Dublin.

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QfbEVxbb Eoghan McCabe Source: Twitter

McCabe told Morning Ireland: “For anyone in these now unfavoured countries or for any Muslim in the technology industry, if you’re feeling threatened or persecuted and maybe if you are not sure if you want to be here anymore, or maybe if you’re literally being prevented from being here and coming back, we will help you consider your options.

In an ideal situation nobody would want to avail of the offer and they could just stay here.

McCabe said some people have already been in touch with them about looking into moving to Dublin.

He said Intercom, and the tech industry in general, are “pretty heavily reliant on immigrants”, noting his company sponsors a lot of visas and the process of getting one is “difficult”.

Collison added that Americans have, for generations, been “a pro-immigrant people” and the ban is not reflective of what the country has stood for in the past.

Read: Minister tells Trump’s security advisor: ‘This travel ban has damaging consequences’

Read: Calls for Enda Kenny to cancel White House trip over Trump’s refugee ban

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Órla Ryan

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