Coming to America

Indiegogo-refugee-coming-america

Update 2/6: Today Indiegogo is proud to have joined with roughly 100 technology companies and other businesses in support of an amicus curiae brief in opposition to the travel ban. We’re also excited to share that our campaign has exceeded its goal, raising more than $25,000 in emergency funds for the International Rescue Committee. 

My father immigrated to the United States from the Middle East (Israel to be specific) in 1965 when he was 25. He came to America because he believed (like so many people around the world) that America was the land of opportunity…for everybody, including him.

Our co-founder, Slava Rubin, immigrated here with his parents and 5-year-old brother in 1979 at the heart of the cold war with the Soviet Union. His family came from the U.S.S.R. as refugees from political oppression, specifically because they are Jewish. Even with the tension of potential war, the U.S. still accepted his family and tens of thousands of other immigrants and refugees from the U.S.S.R. with open arms.

Slava, his parents, my father, your mothers and fathers and grandparents and, in many cases, you, came to America because you thought it would be a better place. Maybe there were more job opportunities here. Maybe you were coming here to avoid an oppressive government in your own country. Maybe you came because you fell in love with somebody here. Even though you or your ancestors came for many reasons, immigrants coming to America is what I believe made America great. It was (and for now, still is) a land infused with people from all over the world who have joined together in this “melting pot” to create opportunities and share ideas from so many diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Immigrants have built so much of our nation and have enriched our country in so many ways.

Indiegogo was founded on the core principles of inclusion, empowerment and meritocracy. As a result, Indiegogo started a company that would appeal to everyone, including immigrants and people around the world who didn’t necessarily have equal opportunities. Indiegogo has always been an open platform, striving to give everybody a fair shot regardless of background.

And our company really appeals to immigrants as employees. We have employees that have immigrated here from many countries around the world and who contribute substantially to our company in so many ways. We wouldn’t be half the company we are were it not for the immigrants that have contributed to Indiegogo and, again, considering that one of our founders is an immigrant, if it wasn’t for our country’s willingness to take in immigrants, our company might not exist at all – like so many companies founded here.

It is because we feel so strongly about how much immigrants contribute to our country and our culture that we are so strongly opposed to the Executive Order issued by Donald Trump last Friday.

We firmly believe our country and our company are better because we have people here from so many other places and we firmly believe that it’s more diversity and inclusion that will make America great.

We aren’t just sitting back. We are taking action.

First, our team is always our top priority. We have reviewed the status of all of our employees to ensure that none are directly at risk and we will stay close to this issue in the coming days to monitor any changes that would adversely affect them or their family members.

Second, we are proud that our co-founder Slava Rubin added his signature to this open letter to President Trump encouraging the rescission of the recent executive orders.

Finally, while we can’t directly change government policies we can try to use our platform to help those most impacted by recent events. To this end, we have launched this campaign to raise emergency funds for the International Rescue Committee and Indiegogo will be matching employee donations to this campaign.

We hope you will support this important campaign and join us in our opposition to the recent executive order so that our country can continue with the spirit of diversity and inclusion that has inspired so many people to come here and contribute so much to it.