Effect of Trump's Muslim Ban on Silicon Valley

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 

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
As of 2010, there were an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, making Islam the world’s second-largest religious tradition after Christianity. And although many people, especially in the United States, may associate Islam with countries in the Middle East or North Africa, nearly two-thirds (62%) of Muslims live in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the Pew Research Center analysis. In fact, more Muslims live in India and Pakistan (344 million combined) than in the entire Middle East-North Africa region (317 million).


http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/31/worlds-muslim-population-more-widespread-than-you-might-think/
Riaz Haq said…
#ISIS cites “blessed ban” as proof #US is at war with #Islam. #Trump #MuslimBan https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/is-trump-driving-recruits-to-isis/?wt.mc=SA_Twitter-Share … #science

For starters, consider the fact that, when Trump announced his intention to ban Muslims from the U.S. on the campaign trail, ISIS promptly re-aired the announcement as part of its propaganda offensive. At the time, General James Mattis, now Secretary of Defense, said the proposed ban was “causing us great damage.” ISIS leaders also used news of Trump’s election victory as a rallying cry, celebrating it as heralding “the imminent demise of America.” And, although it is too early to gauge the full reaction to this latest escalation, jihadist groups have already hailed the “blessed ban” as proof the U.S. is at war with Islam—with one group going so far as to describe President Trump as “the best caller to Islam,” according to the Washington Post.
All the early evidence indicates that the seven-nation ban doesn't fight fire with fire—as President Trump contends—but rather adds fuel to that fire. The reciprocal dynamic here could not be clearer: Trump feeds off ISIS and ISIS feeds off Trump. This is part of what Douglas Pratt from the University of Waikato in New Zealand refers to as co-radicalization . Extreme actions and statements are used to provoke others to treat your own group as dangerous—and that helps to consolidate followers around those very leaders who preach greater emnity.
Here lies the real power of terrorism. It is not so much about spreading fear as it is about seeding retaliation and further conflict. ISIS (or ISIL) exploits this dynamic with ruthless effect. Their core narrative, and the basis of their propaganda appeal, is very simple. According to Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security advisor in the Obama administration, the narrative goes like this: "ISIL is the caliphate. They are representatives of all Islam. Islam is a war with the West and the United States. And therefore, Muslims have a responsibility to come join ISIL and to fight in that war." The aim of their actions is to goad Western nations in acting in ways that give credence to this narrative.
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…
#Trump strategist Bannon says "#Islam and #China are expansionists". Anticipates "war within the president’s term’
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/02/steve-bannon-donald-trump-war-south-china-sea-no-doubt

“You have an expansionist Islam and you have an expansionist China. Right? They are motivated. They’re arrogant. They’re on the march. And they think the Judeo-Christian west is on the retreat,” Bannon said during a February 2016 radio show.

“We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years,” he said in March 2016. “There’s no doubt about that. They’re taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those. They come here to the United States in front of our face – and you understand how important face is – and say it’s an ancient territorial sea.”


Aside from conflict between armies, Bannon repeatedly focused on his perception that Christianity around the world is under threat.


But China is not the only hotspot Bannon sees, and forecasts another ground war for American troops in the Middle East.

“Some of these situations may get a little unpleasant,” Bannon said in November 2015. “But you know what, we’re in a war. We’re clearly going into, I think, a major shooting war in the Middle East again.”
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…
How #Trump's policies and rhetoric are Uniting #American #Jews and #Muslims. #Antisemitism #Islamophobia #MuslimBan

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-jew-muslim-2017-story.html


To many Jews, Trump’s targeting of migrants from predominantly Muslim countries evokes painful memories of Jews who were forced to identify themselves with yellow stars before their extermination at the hands of Nazis — and of the countries that turned them away when they tried to flee.

“It speaks to a lot of people very personally because their own families have stories about being refugees. There is a communal resonance,’’ said Shuli Passow, a rabbi at New York’s congregation B’nai Jeshurun, who recalled how her grandparents were hidden in barns and basements in Poland during the Holocaust.
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Donald Trump may not be able to forge peace in the Middle East, but he is doing wonders for relations between Jews and Muslims in the United States.

Jewish and Muslim activists in the United States are forging alliances like never before in reaction to the president’s rhetoric and action toward Muslim immigrants.

Many Jewish organizations have interpreted Trump’s executive order banning entry by citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries as a call to arms. Jewish delegations turned out en masse for a 10,000-strong demonstration Sunday night in New York. (“Granddaughter of Holocaust survivors standing with refugees, Muslims immigrants,” read one sign.)

Almost every day in New York this last week there was an interfaith conference or prayer service — involving Christian groups as well as Muslims and Jews — devoted to the current crisis over predominantly Muslim immigrants and refugees.

“We have common interests,” said Al Hadj Talib Abdur-Rashid, the imam of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem. He was one of several Muslim leaders who appeared at a rally in Brooklyn in November after a playground was defaced with pro-Trump graffiti and swastikas. “The same kind of people who bomb synagogues [also] bomb black churches and now mosques.”

A Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council, made up of business and cultural leaders of both communities, both Democrats and Republicans, was formed days before the election and convened for its first regular meeting Wednesday in Washington to push the government for a coordinated response to hate crimes, up sharply against both Muslims and Jews.

The week after the election, Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, raised eyebrows when he declared at a meeting in New York that if Trump imposed a Muslim registry, “this proud Jew will register as Muslim’’ — a dramatic statement for the head of an organization founded to fight anti-Semitism and protect Jewish identity.
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…
#American #Stocks Could Continue Climbing with #Trump's Big Corp Tax Cut http://seekingalpha.com/article/4046580-5-stocks-still-jump-25-percent-trump-tax-cut?source=tweet … $DGX $LUV $NSC $ORLY $RSG $SCHW $TSCO $VVC

Summary

A “phenomenal” tax plan is expected to be released in the coming days.

Many high tax paying stocks have seen their share prices reach new highs.

5 companies could still see their shares jump on positive news.

Trump Tax Reform

Stocks are at all time highs three months following President Trump's November victory as the nation's 45th President continues to peddle tax reform and infrastructure spending. A "phenomenal" tax plan is expected to be released in the coming days while many analysts continue to believe it will include a proposal to reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%.

As soon as Trump took office, Wall Street strategists started recommending various stocks with high effective tax rates seeing that they would benefit most from a tax cut. Not surprisingly, many companies have seen their share prices reach new highs including Goldman Sachs' recommendations: Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW), Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) and Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV).

But are there any stocks that still appear fundamentally undervalued if President Trump does indeed follow through on his "phenomenal" tax reform?

5 Stocks That Could Still Jump 25% on a Trump Tax Cut

In order to find stocks that would benefit most from a US corporate tax rate cut, we searched for companies that:

1) Have historically paid an effective tax rate of over 30%, and
2) Generate more than 75% of total revenues domestically.

Then using finbox.io's google speadsheet add-on (will be released in the next few weeks to all members), we filtered through our discounted cash flow (DCF) analyses to find stocks that are still trading below their intrinsic value when the tax rate assumption driving the model is reduced to 15%.

Five stocks immediately jumped out: O'Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ:ORLY), Republic Services (NYSE:RSG), Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ:TSCO), Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) and Vectren Corporation (NYSE:VVC).

Below is a side-by-side comparison of each company's projected free cash flows when adjusting the tax rate assumption. The left column calculates free cash flows and the resulting fair value when using the company's historical effective tax. The right column does the same but applies a 15% rate. Every other assumption driving the models is held constant.
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…
‘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…
#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…
#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…
The Spectator Index‏
@spectatorindex

Following
More
US deaths cause, 2015

Suicide: 43,000
Motor accidents: 32,000
Gun homicide: 13,286
Domestic violence: 1,600
Islamic terrorism: 19
Sharks: 1
Riaz Haq said…
Pankaj Mishra: "We Committed Intellectual Suicide After 9/11" By Endorsing #Islamophobia. #Terrorism http://lithub.com/pankaj-mishra-we-committed-intellectual-suicide-after-911/ … via @lithub

Pankaj Mishara to Rafia Zakaria: " We, and by that I mean “the intelligentsia,” made a catastrophic mistake after 9/11 when we located the roots of terror in Islam, saying that there is something peculiar in their political tradition that explains an eruption of violence. That perspective looked past the mixed history of terrorism, and we now see that regardless of whether it is in Burma or Thailand or India, militancy and terrorism emerge out of a confluence of socio-economic factors. It is a sign of desperation and despair. This idea that it belongs to Islam in particular is a very dangerous idea; it was made mainstream and it was legitimated not just by the far right who are in charge of policy today (and have been engaging in this puerile debate), but also by the liberal intelligentsia.

Francis Fukuyama, for instance, said there is something intrinsic about Islam which is just not compatible with modernity. Then there is Salman Rushdie and even Martin Amis, talking about mass deportation as part of a thought experiment that he offered to a journalist. In sum, all sorts of mainstream figures were advancing this Islamophobic discourse in very holistic and dangerous ways, and in the guise of teaching Islam or understanding Islam or helping the Muslim moderates. This is why we are where we are today."

Riaz Haq said…
Joshua Green, author of "Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, And The Storming Of The Presidency" on NPR's Fresh Air:


I talk a little bit about Bannon's time in the Navy. He was on a destroyer in the Persian Gulf right during the Iran hostage crisis and described to me the Middle East, Pakistan as being almost primeval. He considered Muslims these frightening, threatening people who ultimately wanted to invade the West. And I think that that is where a lot of his anti-immigrant, Islamophobic ideas really started from.

http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=537885042
Riaz Haq said…
#Bannon said he learned to fear #Muslims when he visited #Karachi. Except he was probably in #HongKong. https://interc.pt/2uw1wSz by @maassp IF YOU ASK Steve Bannon how he got the idea that Muslims in the Middle East are a civilizational threat to America, he will say that his eyes were first opened when he served on a Navy destroyer in the Arabian Sea. At least that’s what he told the journalist Joshua Green, whose new book about President Donald Trump’s senior counselor is a best-seller.

“It was not hard to see, as a junior officer, sitting there, that [the threat] was just going to be huge,” Bannon said. He went on:
We’d pull into a place like Karachi, Pakistan – this is 1979, and I’ll never forget it – the British guys came on board, because they still ran the port. The city had 10 million people at the time. We’d get out there, and 8 million of them had to be below the age of fifteen. It was an eye-opener. We’d been other places like the Philippines where there was mass poverty. But it was nothing like the Middle East. It was just a complete eye-opener. It was the other end of the earth.

That’s Bannon’s version. There are a few problems with it, however.

The port of Karachi was not run by the British in 1979. Karachi, which is the commercial hub of Pakistan, had a population that was well short of 10 million (it was about half that) and is not usually considered part of the Middle East. But the biggest problem is that the destroyer Bannon served on, the USS Paul F. Foster, never visited Karachi while Bannon was aboard.

Six sailors who served on the Foster with Bannon told The Intercept that the vessel did not stop at Karachi during its 1979-1980 deployment. The recollections of these enlisted men and officers are supported by the ship’s deck logs, which show no stop on the way to the Arabian Sea and are available to the public at the National Archives. And a map of the Foster’s port calls that was published in its “cruisebook” shows stops in Hawaii, Guam, the Philippines, Christmas Island, Hong Kong, and Singapore — but not Karachi.
It turns out that Bannon, who has drawn a large amount of criticism for his exclusionary stances on race, religion, and immigration, has also inaccurately described his military service, simultaneously creating an erroneous narrative of how he came to an incendiary anti-Muslim worldview that helps shape White House policy.

It’s not clear whether Bannon’s account of visiting Karachi is an intentional fabrication or a false memory that reflects his subconscious fears, or something else entirely. Whatever the reason, it raises a lot of questions. Bannon did not respond to several inquiries from The Intercept. A close friend of Bannon’s who is in regular contact with him, and spoke on the condition of not being named, said Bannon had not read Green’s book and that the quotes attributed to him had not been checked with him. Green, the author, told The Intercept that the interview with Bannon occurred in 2015 and was recorded and transcribed.

The news of Bannon’s problematic narrative comes at a delicate time for the former executive chairman of Breitbart News, which under his leadership produced incessant streams of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim stories. Bannon’s Navy service has always been deeply relevant to his work at the White House because it has been used as a reason for giving him influence on military affairs that his critics believe he does not merit. Bannon reportedly has a tense relationship with the retired generals who occupy key positions in the Trump administration – Chief of Staff John Kelly, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and particularly National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that McMaster has been waging a campaign to cleanse the National Security Council of Bannon’s allies, and that the two men have argued about Afghanistan policy.

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/

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