Jun 21, 2018

For one immigrant CEO, speaking out on immigration is personal

Ayah Bdeir. Photo: LittleBits

While many tech executives struggle with how much to speak out about Trump's immigration policies, LittleBits CEO Ayah Bdeir said the choice is both straightforward and personal.

Details: These days Bdeir runs a company that helps teach kids to build robots. But when she was a child, Bdeir's family was forced to flee Lebanon several times, landing in the U.K. and Canada before eventually coming to the U.S.

What she's saying: Bdeir said she feels called on to both oppose the administration's policies and to let migrants know they are not alone in their fight.

"I think that it is cowardly to not speak out if you are against this," she said, noting that companies can always hide behind notions of not mixing business and politics, or concerns about angering clients or customers. But, she added, "when you don’t speak out on something that is so fundamentally wrong you are complacent."

What she's doing: Bdeir is putting her money where her outrage is, donating 20% of this week's direct sales to ACLU efforts to help immigrants.

Yes, but: She, like everyone else, is struggling to figure out what happens to those families who have been separated and what will happen under the new executive order.

"It is unfathomable that it went for so long, and even now we have an executive order that I don’t know what it means."
— LittleBits CEO Ayah Bdeir

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In photos: India welcomes president with massive "Namaste Trump" rally

First Lady Melania Trump, President Trump and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend the "Namaste Trump" rally at Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, on Monday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump told a massive crowd at a rally in Ahmedabad, northwest India, Monday he hopes to reach a trade deal with his ""true friend" Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two-day visit to the country "except he's a very tough negotiator."

Why it matters: The countries are forging deeper ties, particularly in the military dimension, as India’s location, size and economic growth making it the "obvious counterweight to China" for American policymakers, per Axios' Dave Lawler and Zachary Basu. Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonstrated the importance of the visit with a "Namaste Trump Rally" at a packed 110,000-capacity Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad — the world's largest cricket venue.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 19 mins ago - World

Coronavirus spreads to more countries as cases in South Korea surge

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bahrain each reported their first cases of the novel coronavirus, Al Jazeera first reported, as infections in South Korea, Italy and mainland China continued to increase on Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, World Health Organization officials expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,619 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 32 mins ago - Health

Sanders reveals free childcare plan for preschoolers

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally on Saturday in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday a new plan to guarantee free child care and pre-kindergarten to all American children from infancy to age four.

Details: In the wide-ranging interview, Sanders told Anderson Cooper he planned to pay for universal childcare with a wealth tax. "It's taxes on billionaires," he said.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy