Ancestry’s CEO, Tim Sullivan’s Message Concerning the Recent Restrictions on Immigration

With the recent political climate, Ancestry’s CEO sent an email to the entire company. Tim also wanted to share it with others. Feel free to share this as well:

The last 48 hours in the U.S. have been both heart-breaking and outrageous. Of immediate importance is the status of our Ancestry employees and/or their families. We do not believe that any of our employees are currently affected, but if we are wrong, please let us know immediately, and we will do everything we can to help.

Our company values decency, works hard to embrace diversity, and is very familiar with the difficulties that families all over the world have endured for centuries in their attempts to stay together and to improve the lives of the next generation. We are a company that lives history, so we’re familiar with the ugliness that we’re witnessing right now. We’ve seen how families were impacted by the quotas on Chinese immigration less than a hundred years ago, by the refusal to accept Jewish refugees fleeing the horror of Nazi Germany, and by the absurd detainment of Japanese Americans during that war. Today, it is broadly understood that these policies each left a black mark on our history and ran counter to the fundamental values of openness and inclusion that are our country’s strength.


Ancestry is stronger due to the diversity of our employee’s personal and professional experience, so we have a clear business interest in not seeing America’s doors slammed shut to those that desire to come here and to contribute to our national strength, regardless of religion, race, or national origin. Ancestry is also a company whose values are on display every day, and I’m proud to be part of a company that strives to have a positive impact on people’s lives, respects every person’s story, and celebrates the diversity of everyone’s ancestry. So I want to clearly affirm that the content and intent of President Trump’s executive order on Friday, as well as the disturbing actions that were unleashed by this order, represent the total antithesis to the values of our company.

No one can ignore the stories of people stranded or detained and refused re-entry into a country they considered home and not feel real empathy. Because I am also writing to you not just as CEO, but as a person, I will be honest and say that I am personally horrified and angered by the ignorance, hate, and xenophobia that have precipitated this shocking weekend, and that I think this is something that we all are going to have to confront and denounce.

Again, please let us know if you know of any employees that are personally impacted by the current situation.

Thanks,

Tim

4 Comments

I really thought that Ancestry.com was a website I could enjoy without being exposed to irrational attacks on Trump. Half the voters voted for him, in large part because of his stand on refuges and illegal immigration. Every democrat president since Truman has restricted immigration and refugees. Of course I’m descended from immigrants and also from Indians (I choose not to use the politically correct term) and I have a great deal to thank Ancestry.com for knowing this. But back to half the voters voted for him – these people deserve respect. We are not bigoted xenophobes. We are for the most party proud Americans who believe that our country deserves to be protected and safe. I don’t remember anyone having a fit when Obama, in the closing days of his administration, cancelled the wet foot dry foot policy regarding Cuba. There were Cuban immigrants caught in route in that period of time.

Each of these lives is precious but I rejoice that Trump and the King of Saudi Arabia are moving toward safe spaces for people in their own countries. We need to stop providing arms to Isis and other radicals in the mid-east and let it sort itself out. It costs at a minimum $65,000 to bring over and provide for each refugees. Private contributions can be made but the US government does not have the funds to provide welfare for millions of people in the world who need help.

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I agree with those who agree that the President needs to keep America safe. It is a TEMPORARY ban which will give our government time to put into effect laws that are needed to protect ALL it’s citizens. We have had too many criminal illegals allowed into our country. When they have been deported, they come right back in because we do not have a strong border patrol. Unfortunately, good people will be caught in this ban but eventually everything will be sorted out. We will be able to control who enters the country. This will benefit all our citizens including the new, LEGAL immigrants.

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Connie-I might agree if the banned countries were the ones who have sent us terrorists!. We are at far more risk from HOME-GROWN terrorists and this action only serves to give those who are  recruiting terrorists more propaganda to use against us!  It takes 2 years now to jump through all the hoops in place to get into America.  Just WHERE is the evidence that this hasn’t been enough?

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Sadly, I have closed the comments section following the above article. I didn’t want to do that but feel I had no choice. In fact, I probably let the name-calling go on for too long. I have now corrected that.

While the original article was a copy-and-paste of a CEO’s concerns for recent political events, the comments section degenerated into name calling and all sorts of comments that were based on emotions, not facts. The purpose of this genealogy newsletter is to describe the news, facts, and research opportunities of today, not to provide a platform for name calling and emotional rhetoric that is not based upon facts.

Unless your ancestry is 100% American Indian, every American reading this newsletter is a descendent of immigrants. Tim Sullivan knows something about immigration; his company and staff study immigration throughout the ages and frequently write about the topic. Tim is concerned that today’s immigrants are not enjoying the same rights and privileges that your immigrant ancestors and mine enjoyed. As such, I believe his concerns are very important for all genealogists and even all Americans to read and consider.

– Dick Eastman

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazarus (November 2, 1883)

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