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Sandberg: Trump's immigration ban defies American values

The Facebook exec says the president's executive orders put the dreams, futures and safety of immigrant women and children at risk.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks to her family history to weigh in on President Trump's immigration ban.
Fabrice Coffrini/Getty Images

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is adding her voice to the chorus of tech leaders speaking out against President Donald Trump's immigration ban.

The executive orders issued by Trump over the past week go against American "heart and values" and put women and children at risk, Sandberg wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday. "This is not how it should be in America."

On Friday, Trump issued an executive order that temporarily bars citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries and all refugees from entering the US. The Trump administration said the ban was necessary to protect Americans from terrorists and to evaluate the country's screening and vetting procedures. Trump also issued an order to build a wall along the US border with Mexico, and one that would block federal funding to sanctuary cities for immigrants in the States.

Many tech leaders, including Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, were quick to condemn Trump's stance on immigrants, saying it hurts employees and innovation. In addition to issuing statements, several tech companies have taken action, including a protest by Google employees Monday as well as Amazon and Expedia supporting the Washington state attorney general's lawsuit against the ban. Microsoft, too, said it was providing support for the state's suit.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last week, Sandberg took to Facebook to criticize Trump after his executive order to cut funding for international health groups that perform abortions or provide any information about the procedure.

Here is Sandberg's full statement regarding the immigration orders.

My great-great-grandmother, Channa Bassa, left her home in Vilnius, Lithuania, to escape religious persecution. She arrived on Ellis Island in June 1889.

If Channa had not taken that difficult journey, I would not be here today - my family would almost certainly have perished in the concentration camps of World War II. Her courage - and the fact that this country welcomed her - created my family's future.

The Executive Orders issued over the past week defy the heart and values that define the best of our nation. Families have been separated. Frightened children have been detained in airports without their parents. People seeking refuge have been turned away and sent back to the danger they just managed to flee. This is not how it should be in America.

Something that hasn't gotten enough attention is how this harsher immigration climate is particularly unforgiving for women. Anything that pulls families apart and traumatizes kids has a huge impact on women and their children.

Long before this week, women - especially undocumented women - have been vulnerable to violence and abuse once they get here. Latina workers have been described as the "perfect victims" of sexual abuse; they are disproportionately more likely to be sexually assaulted at work. Undocumented women rarely contact local law enforcement about crimes like rape or domestic abuse, because they fear being deported if they do. Young women caught in refugee status are highly vulnerable to violence and exploitation and also often lose the chance at an education. We know that no investment has a higher return than girls' education - for them, for their families and for the countries they may someday help rebuild.

When the United States turns away people fleeing violence or seeking new lives for themselves and their children, I can't help but think of the girls and young women whose dreams and futures and safety hang in the balance - young women like my great-great-grandmother Channa.

In every generation since our country was founded, immigrants become new citizens and help us innovate and stay strong. How we treat some of the most vulnerable people on the planet says a lot about who we are. That history is something we must remember and honor now.#WeAreAllImmigrants

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