Those who have used email prior to 2000 or so, will remember how much Bill Gates used to be vilified.
With his Giving Pledge ( Link ) and work with United Nations it is likely that the angst might be receding a bit.
I was effused with the same relieve, enthusiasm, and hope upon reading this blog posting by Microsoft’s General Counsel, Brad Smith.
Proposal calls for case-by-case exception process for law-abiding visa holders with pressing needs
In last Friday’s executive order, the President expressly gave to the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security the authority to grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis, consistent with the national interest, to issue visas and other immigration benefits. Today Microsoft is filing a formal request asking these cabinet officers to create a process to grant exceptions that will permit “Responsible Known Travelers with Pressing Needs” to re-enter the country while protecting the nation’s security. The important details for this proposal are included in our formal request and are outlined below.
At the outset, we recognize that this proposal will not and should not end the broader debate and deliberations regarding last week’s executive order. Our company is one among many that has expressed its views, and we will continue to participate energetically and constructively in the public discussions that help define our democratic processes.
But even amidst these debates, there is an opportunity under the executive order to address the pressing needs of real people. There currently are law-abiding visa holders who are parents that were outside the United States last Friday and therefore cannot re-enter the country. These parents are stranded and separated from their children. Other individuals are confronting genuine family emergencies such as the need to visit a critically ill parent.
At Microsoft we have seen these needs first-hand through some of our 76 employees who are impacted by last week’s order and, together with their 41 dependents, have nonimmigrant visas to live in the United States. These needs almost certainly are not unique to our employees and their families. We believe that limited but important steps to help all such individuals can be taken by the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, consistent with national security and the authority that the President expressly gave to them.
As we explain in our formal request, U.S. immigration authorities already have a wide range of personal information about individuals in the visa categories that we have proposed. This includes individuals’ occupation, place of residence, place of work, family members, state identification/driver’s license information, and the existence of any criminal history. In short, these individuals are “known quantities” in their communities: their character, personalities, conduct, and behavior is understood by their colleagues, employers, friends, and neighbors.
Many of these individuals also fill critical roles in the organizations that employ them, whether they are doctors, scientists, engineers, medical technicians, software developers, or any number of other highly skilled professionals. They are deeply valued contributors to the innovation, research and business acumen of our nation, and they serve critical roles in the successful operations of U.S. companies.
We also believe it is appropriate to consider the needs of impacted foreign students pursuing their studies at our nation’s universities. It would be tragic for a student to be faced with the need to forfeit a dream of completing one’s education in the United States to tend to family needs that are entirely outside of one’s control.
In sum, we believe there is a clear opportunity for limited and important action under last week’s executive order.
We know that we do not have all the answers; in publishing this proposal, we hope that others will improve upon our ideas. Nor does this request attempt to address all the important immigration questions currently before the nation. But we believe there is a need and opportunity, amidst the broader debate, for immediate action under the executive order to help real people address pressing needs.
- Most Important Commandments
- One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”
The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’
And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”
( Luke 10:25-28 )
- Good Samaritan
- “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.
The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”
Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
( Luke 10:36-37 )
- The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.
- To vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, So that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror ( Psalm 10:18 )
- He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. ( Deuteronomy 10:18 )
- Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them. ( Ezekiel 34:4 )
- But Jesus called them aside and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise authority over them”. ( Matthew 20:25, Mark 10:42, Luke 22:25 )
- Andre Agassi
- You think to yourself : Am I making him do something special, or am I letting him get away with something ? I think I made him earn it. I made him play the big shot at crucial times, and he came through , so that’s just full credit to him – Andre Agassi – On losing to Mark Philippoussis in the British Open 2003 ( here )
- First of all, let me say, 1:15 in the morning, for 20,000 people to still be here, I wasn’t the winner, tennis was. That’s awesome. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so good here before. ( Link )
- Sex doesn’t interfere with your tennis; it’s staying out all night trying to find it that affects your tennis.
- Tennis was always sort of a – a learning. It was a vehicle for me to discover a lot about myself.
And the things that I sort of discovered at times I not only didn’t want to see it for myself but I certainly didn’t want millions of people to see it.
- Warren Buffett
- My wealth has come from a combination of living in America, some lucky genes, and compound interest. Both my children and I won what I call the ovarian lottery. (For starters, the odds against my 1930 birth taking place in the U.S. were at least 30 to 1. My being male and white also removed huge obstacles that a majority of Americans then faced.) My luck was accentuated by my living in a market system that sometimes produces distorted results, though overall it serves our country well. I’ve worked in an economy that rewards someone who saves the lives of others on a battlefield with a medal, rewards a great teacher with thank-you notes from parents, but rewards those who can detect the mispricing of securities with sums reaching into the billions. In short, fate’s distribution of long straws is wildly capricious – Warren Buffett
- George B. Kaiser
- I suppose I arrived at my charitable commitment largely through guilt. I recognized early on, that my good fortune was not due to superior personal character or initiative so much as it was to dumb luck.
I was blessed to be born in an advanced society with caring parents. So, I had the advantage of both genetics (winning the “ovarian lottery”) and upbringing.
As I looked around at those who did not have these advantages, it became clear to me that I had a moral obligation to direct my resources to help right that balance.America’s “social contract” is equal opportunity.
It is the most fundamental principle in our founding documents and it is what originally distinguished us from the old Europe.
Yet, we have failed in achieving that seminal goal; in fact, we have lost ground in recent years.
Another distinctly American principle is a shared partnership between the public and private sectors to foster the public good.
So, if the democratically-directed public sector is shirking, to some degree, its responsibility to level the playing field, more of that role must shift to the private sector – George B. Kaiser
Seeing Things as they were
Brad Smith joined Microsoft 1in 1993.
He worked internally and with outside counsel through what many adversaries judged was anti-competitive.
In its early years, it was a small company that barely had a face in Washington.
I am old enough to sense that people’s opinion and tagging does not always change.
Personally, today is one of those days that I am proud to have invested in Microsoft tools and products for a while here.
And, even more importantly, to belong to a group that is closely aligned with the stewardess of what is best and the only thing that will last in all of us.
And, in closing “Rejoice in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality” ( Romans 12:12-13 ).
I hope your religion, but more intimately your proximity to God, allows you to enjoin yourself and others to him in love.
One wise man once said “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Peter wrote to the elders:
Be shepherds of God’s flock that is among you, watching over them not out of compulsion, but because it is God’s will; not out of greed, but out of eagerness; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.…
As that is what is son came and laid on the cross for.
As prophesied in the Psalms:
The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.