GitHub joins amicus brief to protect sanctuary cities

Yesterday we filed an amicus brief alongside a group of other technology companies supporting San Francisco’s and Santa Clara County’s efforts to permanently block Executive Order 13768, which seeks to deprive sanctuary cities of federal funding. Sanctuary cities are jurisdictions that restrict local cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.

Why this matters

Nearly all U.S. technology hubs are in sanctuary cities. Sanctuary ordinances help local officials provide a safe environment for all residents, uphold human rights, and are one of a set of inclusive institutions that unlock increased wages across all income levels for both immigrants and non-immigrants in response to increased diversity.

Our amicus brief contributes three basic arguments from a technology and emerging company perspective:

  1. The order will encourage behavior that’s antithetical to the values of innovative companies and their communities
  2. The order threatens nearly every major U.S. innovation hub’s ability to provide basic services
  3. The order makes U.S. cities less safe

In other words, the order threatens many things that make Silicon Valley and other U.S. technology hubs attractive to the world’s best innovators and entrepreneurs, and undermines our ability to remain globally competitive.

The order is also bad for software developers worldwide, resulting in a net reduction of opportunity to collaborate and create great software—core parts of GitHub’s mission. We support inclusive communities on our platform, but developers live in communities on the ground. We think it’s critical to foster collaboration, empathy, and innovation among all people, regardless of where they may be. Technology’s challenges are increasingly global and interconnected, and so our solutions must be as well.

How to get involved

Join us by supporting organizations that are fighting for inclusive communities like the ACLU.

To learn about human rights and their connection to developer opportunities, take a look at our our brief and the studies linked above—and keep building inclusive communities, both online and wherever you live.

Have feedback on this post? Let @github know on Twitter.
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