Note: Yesterday, SendGrid CEO, Sameer Dholakia sent an email to all SendGrid employees regarding President Trump’s executive order on immigration. We’d like to share it with you here.
As you know, this past Friday, President Trump issued an executive order restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. Over the weekend, many of our government leaders, business leaders, our fellow citizens here in the U.S., and leaders from around the world have spoken out against this order, accurately stating that it directly conflicts with our country’s values and that it is fundamentally un-American.
The immigration ban is a very personal issue for me and I believe it goes against all of our core SendGrid values. As such, I feel that it’s necessary for me to speak out against it and resoundingly echo what many others have expressed over the past few days. While I appreciate the administration’s intent to safeguard the country and protect our borders, I vehemently oppose both the content and the character of the executive order on immigration for the following reasons:
- It’s discrimination. This type of broad-based discrimination against entire countries is unethical. To those that believe that a targeted set of countries is acceptable, I argue that anything greater than zero is an unacceptable number. I have many friends who hail from the countries included. They are model citizens and we’re fortunate that they now call themselves Americans. I believe it’s a very slippery slope if we accept this type of discrimination as some kind of norm. Clearly, as history has demonstrated, this has the potential to open the door for other policies based on intolerance and bias.
- It’s un-American. I think it borders on (if not leaps past) immoral to ban refugees from whole countries trying to escape persecution, seeking a better place in the world for their families. The Puritans arrived here nearly 400 years ago for that very reason.
- It’s bad business. Our country’s founding rests on the idea of rewarding individuals for hard work, talent, and ingenuity — regardless of race, gender, class, or country of origin. We have long attracted the best and brightest from around the world as a result. Many of our greatest innovators, engineers, entrepreneurs, business leaders have been immigrants. Indeed, SendGrid itself was built on this very notion.
- It’s personal for SendGrid. As many of you know, Isaac Saldana, one of our co-founders, came to the U.S. with his aunt and uncle from Mexico when he was 14 years old to get a better education. He ultimately went on to found SendGrid with Tim and Jose, and it’s no overstatement to say, “none of us would have these jobs if not for that immigration.” Many of our Gridders and, undoubtedly, many of our Gridders’ ancestors, similarly came to this country seeking opportunities to build a better life or to escape oppression.
- It’s personal for me. My own parents immigrated to the U.S. from Mumbai, India in the 1960s as my father wanted to further his studies at a U.S. university. My parents lived the American Dream, and my brother and I saw it first hand. They came with next-to-nothing, worked hard, made sacrifices, and built a great life for their family.
During times of discussion about banning immigrants, it’s important to remember that SendGrid is committed to the core tenet of our Happy H in providing a diverse, inclusive, safe and open environment for all of our employees. Diversity is a strength for us at SendGrid and this belief will never waiver. All of you, our diverse and talented Gridders, are a true testament to that belief. As always, I remain proud and humbled to have the opportunity to work with and lead our amazing team.
I remain hopeful that in the days, weeks and months to come, the new administration will also recognize the importance of maintaining policies that support this vital American ideal and its deep connection to the foundation—and future—of our great country.
Most importantly, if any of our Gridders have specific concerns about how this policy may impact them or their families, or any questions at all related to this issue, please reach out to me, Pattie or any member of the PeopleOps team. Know that we will do anything and everything in our power to help and support you and your families as this issue continues to evolve and we will make sure we have the right resources in place to address any concerns.
It’s an important reminder to all of us how immigrants who come to this country can make a true impact.