Lab speaks out on US Administration’s Immigration Policy

LL logoOn Thursday, February 2nd, Linden Lab became the latest tech company to speak out against the recent immigration Executive Order signed by US President, Donald Trump.

Politics is a contentious issue, and one I’ve preferred to keep out of this blog. However, there is no doubt that the move by the new US Administration has caused great concern in both the United States and around the world. More to the point, Second Life is also a global entity which has  – through the Community Standards – always sought to make a stand against intolerance on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. As such, the Lab’s statement is wholly in keeping with this standing.

The statement reads in full:

We at Linden Lab are extremely disappointed in and adamantly opposed to Trump’s recent executive order on immigration. We reject racism, intolerance, and xenophobia.

We are proud to include immigrants among our leadership, colleagues, and customers, as well as our families, friends, and communities. We value diversity, compassion, and understanding, and we are proud that our products enable people to come together and form meaningful connections regardless of differences in their offline lives.

Trump’s order is counter to what we value and antithetical to American ideals. We join the many voices calling on the US government to remove this restriction as quickly as possible and to refrain from imposing additional barriers that threaten opportunities for immigrants, under-represented minorities, and women.

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24 thoughts on “Lab speaks out on US Administration’s Immigration Policy

  1. Of course now you have people who use SL saying they wont use it now that LL has spoken up. As I have pointed out to a few today, so are you going to stop using Facebook, any product by Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Amazon, all companies which have also spoken out against the ban?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The beauty of the free-market system is that companies are held responsible for their decisions or comments by their customers. If customers choose not to use SL (or Starbucks, or Facebook, etc etc), that is their choice. I disagree with LL simply because I believe the statement was made as a “jumping on the bandwagon” moment rather than a statement made after actual research into the Executive Order – but I enjoy Second Life immensely and have many friends from around the world. While disappointed in the ignorance on the part of LL, I personally don’t see the point in pulling away from SL, as there is simply nothing better. I can live without Facebook though. 🙂

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      1. and here are a few more companies you can boycott: Airbnb, uber, Lyft, Expedia, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, 21st Century Fox, Starbucks, Nike, Coca-Cola, Proctor and Gamble, WalMart, Target, Ford, & GM to name a few

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am wondering if any of these tech companies have read the Executive Order instead of the media’s interpretation of it. Although many members of Congress have agreed that this EO was made in haste, it is also widely known that this is not a “Muslim Ban” or anything regarding sex, race, xenaphobia (?!?) etc. This is a short-term halt on immigration from groups who have not been vetted. Upon vetting, the halt will be lifted. The incident in Paris this morning (as well as the multiple incidents in Germany, Sweden, etc) only confirms that the United States must be careful regarding its immigration policy. Americans do not want the atrocities that are committed on Eurpoean soil to happen in the U.S. Statements by Linden Lab are not only ignorant and irresponsible, they fan the flames of unrest amongst our more ill-read population. I am hoping that ignorance on the part of LL, as well as our wonderful global community, will be eased by people actually taking the time to read instead of assume.

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    1. No-one in the Lab’s statement referred to a “ban”, they reference only the policy, just a minor point, but worth keeping in mind. More to the point, and addressing this solely on the issue of terrorism, I’d just point out a couple of things in reply:

      Your statement s that “this is a short-term halt on immigration from groups who have not been vetted” isn’t entirely accurate. The US has one of the most rigorous screening programmes for refugees in the world, which takes up to two years to complete – see: Refugees Entering the U.S. Already Face a Rigorous Vetting Process.

      Secondly, with a couple of exceptions, none of the attacks in Europe you refer to were carried out by individuals from the countries listed in the EO. Conversely, all of the 9/11 attackers came from counties excluded from the EO. Ergo, the idea that this somehow makes domestic US citizens any “safer” is at best questionable, particularly as it could be used to further fan the flames of hatred all around. Also, what additional risk does it put US citizens overseas – notably those working in Iraq, which is supposedly a strategic ally of the United States?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you Inara for your thoughtful reply. It is good to see the current level of vetting incoming refugees must undertake. The article was interesting. Thank you for mentioning it.

        I was born in Austria and came to the United States with my family as a teenager. I am an American citizen, but of course have many family members in Austria and Germany. I must take issue with your statement that “with a couple of exceptions, none of the attacks…were carried out by individuals from the countries listed in the EO.” I do understand that you qualified this by the words “carried out”. The Daily Mail qualifies that terror is not terror unless it manifests in death (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4171120/No-terror-links-FIVE-seven-targeted-countries.html). However, many arrests in Germany and France have prevented these acts from being carried out by terrorists from these countries. So, we must rely on our local police and investigators to thwart a terror crime that may have been prevented by actions taken by national law. This exhausts resources and overwhelms local police and communities.

        In fact, This Executive Order is actually simply an extension of the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 (signed by former President Obama), which imposed travel restrictions on these same countries (http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/29/politics/how-the-trump-administration-chose-the-7-countries/). It was the former administration that deemed these countries subject to further scrutiny. So – back to the original post regarding Linden Lab’s “speaking out.” Why the outcry now? Why not the “stepping up” from tech companies and protesting by the public in 2015? Possibly not politically advantageous? My critical outlook on this is that all of this drama is more politically motivated rather than steeped in actual concern and fact. And this is what leaves me shaking my head at all of it.

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        1. You’re welcome.

          I would disagree with this EO being “simply an extension of the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015”. Key differences are highlighted in the summary here: Wherever Visa Is Accepted, and also discussed alongside Obama’s 2011 action (also cited by Trump’s Administration) here: How Trump’s travel ban differs from Obama’s visa restrictions.

          While you didn’t specifically mention it, but as it has elsewhere been cited (notably by Trump himself), in terms of Obama’s 2011 actions and Trump’s EO, there are also significant differences, as outlined by the likes of UK Business Insider and “Politifact“. Hence, why, perhaps, the January 2017 EO is seen as far more contentious than either Obama’s 2011 actions or the 2015 act.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. @ Hans Strabel * Inara – Good point and counterpoint.

            I suspect the news Inara is seeing is highly distorted. I also suspect most discussing the subject haven’t bothered to read the actual wording of the Executive Order (EO – It is online). Some facts to think about:

            The Lab is reacting to the media’s fake coverage of the EO. They have no idea what policy was set by the EO or how it is being implemented. I like Hans seriously doubt anyone at the Lab bothered to read the actual EO published by the Trump Admin on the .gov web sites.

            In regard to the USA’s existing rigorous vetting, true but, the 7 majority Muslim countries identified by the Obama administration that have no effective government or way for us to check one of their citizen’s backgrounds have their citizens being held up for 3 months by Trump’s vetting restrictions, while his people study the existing system and build a way to vet these people. People in those countries whether Christians, Muslims, or any other faith are all being held up. It is a by country ban, not a religious or ethnic ban.

            It seems surprising that people can’t figure out that there is literally no current way to figure out if a person is a radical Jihadist, criminal, law abiding citizen, or a true refugee in a country with a failed government. In the chaos and financial disorder people can buy whatever papers they need or make them. There is no government we can turn to verify or refute the accuracy of those papers.

            Also, it isn’t a ban. While the Lab did not use the word ban, a reading of their statement shows they are speaking as if they believe it is. But, people coming from these countries are only being slowed down but, citizens from the 7 countries with green cards and military pass holders are now cleared and coming in without delay. Starting out the Trump admin screwed that up. But, got it fixed. Others that have to be vetted are being delayed 2 to 3 days (or longer, depending on how hard it is to find out who they are) and then allowed in. Only those that cannot be vetted or have extremist connections are being kept out.

            It is true, most of the know terrorists that have committed atrocities did not come from the 7 listed countries. It should be obvious the EO is not targeting Muslims as majority Muslim counties with numerous terrorists are not on the list. But, those countries; Egypt, Pakistan, India, Saudi, Jordan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Indonesia, and others all have working governments that can prove legitimate background checks we can trust. It isn’t about religion. It is about the country you are coming from and whether it has a working government.

            The Lab’s statement completely misses the reality of what is happening and being done. It appears to be based on total fake news… propaganda. Do they think we should allow those that want to kill us to come into our country?

            Liked by 1 person

            1. “I suspect the news Inara is seeing is highly distorted. I also suspect most discussing the subject haven’t bothered to read the actual wording of the Executive Order (EO – It is online).”

              Actually, I read a broad spectrum of press articles, left, right and centre, mainstream and otherwise. As such, I would say my reading is no more “distorted” than your own. I’d also point out that your first comment following the supposition on my reading habits is further supposition, and not anything rooted in “fact” as you claim. As to the rest of your argument, it is mired in some significant flaws in thinking.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. It was called a ban because just about everyone in Trump’s circle called it a ban. What do you call it then when people cannot enter a country or an area? The definition of a ban is: officially or legally prohibited.” These people are being officially and legally prohibited. We already have a non fly list, why not place the terrorists on there, then the same thing would have occurred. But when you are banning legal green card holders, legal visa holders, and in some instances dual American citizens, that I have a problem with. I would support the ban if they had also included the countries where the 9/11 highjackers came from and where our recent terrorists have: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Jordan etc.

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      1. Ha. Hell will freeze solid before a Trump administration does anything adversely affecting Saudi Arabia.

        In any case, the ban (which Justice now reveals cancelled over 100,000 current visas) has nothing to do with security except in so far as it heightens the frantic flag-waving cowardice of Trump’s base.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. *SIGH* It looks like LL is trying to be relevant again and get some sort of attention. Half the people will cheer and the other half will say STFU. It’s just wasted time and bandwidth in the end.

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  5. Direct from a statement…….
    The Administration is working hard to accomplish campaign promises dealing with healthcare, the economy, government ethics, and more. One of the major items being tackled is improving our immigrant screening process.

    Part of this work is to address our inadequate immigration vetting procedures. To ensure American safety the President imposed a temporary travel ban on 7 countries known for training, harboring and export terrorism. One of the major projects being undertaken is improving the vetting process for those entering the United States. This travel ban is not about religion – this is about keeping our country safe.

    There are over 40 majority Muslim countries worldwide that are not affected by this order. The White House will again be issuing visas to all countries once the Administration has reviewed and implemented the more secure policies over the next 90 days.

    This is NOT a religious ban, they are NOT being disrespectful. They are doing their best to improved vetting procedures. I realize they do not cover what “we” see as all the bases. I can only think there are things that are not common knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So those here, that stand up against hate and intolerance, would you also stand up against that hate and intolerance that you find in muslim culture and religion? I don’t read much about condemning verse 9 of the Holy Quran, especially the so called Sword Verse which asks muslims to kill all Unbelievers. I also can’t remember anybody condemning that Muhammad killed thousants of people with his own hands or that he enslaved thousants or raped women or that he had been married to a 6 year old kid (Aisha). He set an example for many modern muslims, even if only a minority closely follows his teachings.
    Let’s condemn all hate, intolerance and racism!

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  7. Having watched and listened to the efus over this bit of drivel, I’m of the opinion that, “Executive Order” or not, the Courts will rule it Unconstitutional and that will be it. We need to remember that Trump is a businessman and obviously knows very little about how the Government operates. While such an order could stand in a business, as a matter of National Policy it will fail. Remember, we do have a series of checks and balances in our government developed specifically to prevent any one branch from assuming too much power. The Legislature can decline to fund or the Court could rule it Unconstitutional and it would be history.
    If he keeps this up we even have a remedy for that, called Impeachment and Removal.
    So don’t worry! The Government was put together by people who anticipated this sort of thing and developed ways to either control or counter it completely, Give the system time to respond; consider it “Governmental Lag” and ignore it.

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  8. Politics and Religion should be baned from SL! And while we unfortunately need the first one in RL, whe should ban the latter from there as well!

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  9. Here comes a view from abroad. I come from Germany and also in Germany is Trump one of the main topic in our media (so sorry for my bad english :-))

    We also see that the US is divided by Trump, advocates and opponents of his poitics, and above all his attitude as to how the most powerful country in the world is to be led. I am afraid that Trump wants to transfer his certainly great experience in the management of his company premises to the daily political business. There are very big differences between these two challenges. One of them is diplomacy, I just miss it at Trump. His motto is “America first”. America should get better. Focus only on America. Just have the advantages for your own country in focus. Sure, every country would like to have the best for itself, but that is not only in the interior of one’s own country. You also have to look beyond your own borders in order to lead a country sustainably and successfully into the future.

    OK, Trump voter. You will be aware of the benefits of Trumps policy in the short term and will see this as the right way, but in the long run you will have more disadvantages. Just the small side: The Obama Care. Yes, it costs you now and reduces your income, but if you are older and you do not have insurance, you can ruin it.

    Another example is the return to fossil fuels. Yes, there may be a boost for the American economy in the short term, but it has an impact on global weather. There will be more and heavier tornadoes in the US, California will suffer droughts and fierce fires. The first signs are already visible. But I want to stop here with my black painting.

    One has to distinguish between wrong actionism and sustainable action. Sustainable action is more complex and complex at the moment, but it ensures a better future. Unfortunately I see in Trumps politics too much actionism therefore I belong also to its critics.

    It was posted here that SL should be unpolitical. This I also like to sign and that was Linden Lab so far. There must be cause for concern, if Linden Lab now speaks.

    We Germans are very sensitized through our history and are concerned about a country slipping towards exaggerated nationalism. For our grandparents and parents were witnesses of how quickly a disaster arose for the whole world.

    Be watchful

    The Niki

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with Inara. Trump is trying to run the US like he is the CEO of a country he owns. Unfortunately of the three branches of the government only the Judicial (courts) branch is left to stand up to him. Both the Republican and the Democratic parties won’t. 😦

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