July 10, 2017

On late Friday night, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that fulfills his promise of a Muslim Ban.

The order suspends the entry of refugees to the United States for 120 days (indefinitely for those from Syria) and blocks visitors from seven predominantly Muslim nations: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

The stated intent of the ban is to implement a more rigorous screening process to protect the U.S. from possible terrorists. Notably, Saudi Arabia, where most of the 9/11 terrorists called home, is not on the list of restricted countries.

 

Top tech leaders are speaking out about the decision that they describe as "so un-American it pains us all."

Silicon Valley has a vested interest in immigration reform. Mark Zuckerberg and other tech leaders formed FWD.us a couple years ago to lobby for expanding the H-1B visa program for high-skilled workers. They want to invite more immigrants into the country, especially those with STEM backgrounds, but so far they've been unsuccessful at lifting the 85,000 person a year cap.

But their concern is not limited to engineering talent. According to the National Foundation for American Policy, 51% of U.S. tech startups valued at $1 billion or more have at least one immigrant founder. Two of the three most valuable companies in the world are led by immigrants to the United States: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Google CEO Sundar Pichai (Google is the largest subsidiary of Alphabet). Silicon Valley leadership commonly has immigrant origins.

An anomaly in the Bay Area, Muslim entrepreneurs have found success in other industries. The following foreign-born billionaires emigrated from Muslim-majority countries and built their wealth in the United States (wealth estimates as of January 29, 2017).

Shahid Khan - Pakistan ($7.5 billion)

He owns automobile parts manufacturer Flex-N-Gate as well as the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars and the English football team Fulham F.C.

Haim Saban - Egypt ($3.0 billion)

Saban earned his wealth mainly in the media and entertainment business. He produced the TV show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

Hamdi Ulukaya - Turkey ($1.9 billion)

Ulukaya is the founder, CEO and chairman of Chobani, the most popular Greek yogurt brand in the US.

Marc Lasry - Morocco ($1.6 billion)

A hedge fund manager, Lasry is the cofounder and CEO of Avenue Capital Group. He is also a co-owner of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks.

Fayez Sarofim - Egypt ($1.6 billion)

An heir to his family's fortune, Sarofim is a fund manager for a number of the Dreyfus family stock funds and the original and second largest shareholder of Kinder Morgan. He is also a part owner of the NFL's Houston Texans.

David Hindawi - Iraq ($1 billion)

Hindawi cofounded cybersecurity firm Tanium with his son Orion in 2007.

Humans are at the heart of business. Only time will tell what impact these and other immigration policies have on the U.S. economy.

 

By 

Drew Hansen

https://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhansen/2017/01/29/muslim-immigrants-american-billionaires/#6374c69f244b


Subscribe