I am an immigrant. Like many in Silicon Valley, I started my company elsewhere and then decided to move to the United States to grow. Ephox, and myself, are still here more than 10 years later. The U.S. has been good to Ephox. It is here that we have been able to serve many wonderful customers and develop many great partnerships. But we have also helped out the U.S. economy: we are incorporated here, have created dozens of jobs and paid millions of dollars in taxes.
Immigrating was not easy for me, and it was easier for me than most. Navigating visa requirements and grumpy immigration officers seemed ridiculously complicated and intimidating. I was coming here to grow a company and invest, why was I being treated like the enemy? One stressful trip I was held at San Francisco airport for three hours only to be told I can go without explanation.
When I did finally get my green card and became a lawful resident of the United States I was very excited. It was a joy and happiness that millions of immigrants before and after me have experienced and can relate to.
It is with this background that I relate to the thousands of prospective and current immigrants who have been banned from entering the United States. To jump through the many rigorous hoops to become a lawful, permanent U.S. resident is incredibly difficult. To now be told you aren’t welcome in your new home must be even more difficult.
The United States has thrived on diversity and being part of an open, global society. Ephox is a classic case study in this success. The immigration ban imposed by Friday’s executive order is misguided and only serves to hurt our country.