back to article ICE cold: Microsoft's GitHub wrings hands over US prez's Trump immigration ban plan

Microsoft-owned code shack, GitHub, wrung its hands at last night's news that US President Trump intends to temporarily halt immigration, unfortunately forgetting that the internet never ever forgets. In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Holmes

    It is called playing to the voters

    It is election year and Trump himself has said that he's gonna win by a landslide.

    1. holmegm Bronze badge

      Re: It is called playing to the voters

      He might. His opponents remain utterly clueless and fall right into his traps.

      Do explain to voters why *they* can't be allowed to go a few miles to work, but they have to let other people travel here all the way from foreign lands to, um, go to work.

      1. MiguelC Silver badge

        Re: It is called playing to the voters

        "Expected to be signed today, it appears to consist of a 60-day pause on people seeking permanent residence (and a green card) rather than applying to temporary workers."

        As it stands, it even stops people already working in the US under temporary visas getting their green card. What has that have to do with fighting COVID-19 ??

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It is called playing to the voters

          > stops people already working in the US under temporary visas getting their green card. What has that have to do with fighting COVID-19 ??

          Well duh - it's a foreign virus, these are foreign people

        2. holmegm Bronze badge

          Re: It is called playing to the voters

          So you'd be fine with it, without that provision?

        3. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: It is called playing to the voters

          >What has that have to do with fighting COVID-19 ??

          It isn't about fighting covid it is about mitigating the cost of fighting covid. As Americans get laid off and unemployment rises, it is difficult to justify bringing in non-Americans to take the jobs that do remain.

          The role of the American president is to look after Americans, not foreigners. If, as a company, you don't want to hire Americans, don't base yourself in America. "We would like the benefits of being an American company without the costs of hiring Americans" seems a little... wrong.

          I'm not an American - I don't expect Trump to look out for my interests. My issue with "think of the immigrants" is that it divorces the responsibilities of the leaders from the interests of their constituents. While I don't support acting purely selfishly, once leaders are mentally and emotionally independent of the interests of their electorate, they become untethered from their role and highly susceptible to corruption. Being "responsible to everyone" is a great excuse for being responsible to no-one.

          1. Schultz Silver badge
            Stop

            "... it is difficult to justify bringing in non-Americans to take the jobs that do remain."

            Except that a big part of the US success story is based on bringing in those immigrants. I shouldn't have to mention people like Nadella or Musk as paragons of success (you heard those stories, right?) -- but it is a hard fact that the US took in lots of immigrants and became the preeminent economic power based on their hard work and creative influence.

            In the bigger picture, foreigners taking your job is a load of xenophobic propaganda. The purpose is to distract people from the politics that matter. Hands up, who had his job stolen by a Mexican gardener, a Polish plumber, a Syrian refugee? Thought so. There surely are some issues with immigration -- but the next generation of your kind is at least as troublesome in staling your jobs, depressing your pay, and destroying your great and holy culture.

            Amirite?

      2. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: It is called playing to the voters

        He might. His opponents remain utterly clueless and fall right into his traps.

        The old rogue always wins, whatever his unspeakable inadequacies, by being that much better on the spur than whatever they throw up against him.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: It is called playing to the voters

      He says a lot of things. Getting people to overreact to his mutterings on Twitter is one of his main aims. Always worth looking at what any actual Executive Order says and whether it stands the inevitable judicial review.

      Meanwhile, one of the results of the anti-immigration policy is, surprisingly not an uptick in the amount of people, particularly from the underrepresented demographic groups, training as IT professionals, but the offshoring of more development to places where these can be found in abundance.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: It is called playing to the voters

        If the current situation has proved anythign it's that all your programmers have to be in an office in downtown San Fransicso to do any work - especially if the servers they are working on are in a data center in N. Dakota

        1. jason_derp Bronze badge

          Re: It is called playing to the voters

          "If the current situation has proved anythign it's that all your programmers have to be in an office in downtown San Fransicso to do any work - especially if the servers they are working on are in a data center in N. Dakota"

          Finally! Somebody who speaks truth! Get those people out of their houses and back at work! Everybody knows code is essentially useless unless it was typed in close proximity to other coders in a cubicle somewhere designed to heighten anxiety levels!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Anxiety? The office environment didn't prepare me for this...

            The WFH pandemic is causing such a level of stress I am barely even paying attention to that corona thing everyone else is talking about. Distractions have developed an immunity to traditional vaccines. People can't see if someone is wearing headphones until after the video call has been answered, then they interpret it as meaning you are ready for a chat!!! I have no idea what to do... I even contemplated "going offline for an hour or two" at one point, that is how desperate I am getting.

            I want to go back to the good old days, when people would walk to my office and check to see what sort of language I was directing towards the computer before deciding if they were going to disturb me or not.

            I can't even cry about how bad things are because I need to preserve my stockpole of toilet roll.

            AC obviously, those of us with TP have to be careful to hide our identity when admitting it in public...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Anxiety? The office environment didn't prepare me for this...

              Well, one does finds out that one's job, while very well-paid and clearly worthy of protection from a deadly virus (unlike those working-with-people-jobs, like a dunno, nurses and bus drivers), does not actually matter that much!

              I believe that 'my purpose' is to boost the significance (measured by budget, I suspect) for my managers! Like when some Lord of The Manor hired a hermit to live in a cave for his wealthy guests to marvel at.

              This probably being the case, I think I will try to make the WFH-scam a permanent thing and move to The Country, where I shall do as little work "work" as practically possible, while the money still ticks in.

              'Back to Normal'? Hahahaha - 'Normal' bricked itself a while ago! Now, everything is New and we better accept that!

              ----

              One advantage of working in a very bureaucratic organisation during a global disaster is that the sclerotic and inefficient decision making applies to redundancies also!

              Anon - Obviously!!

              1. hoola Bronze badge

                Re: Anxiety? The office environment didn't prepare me for this...

                Ah, bureaucracy, the means for a seemingly endless hierarchy of managers to sit on their arses doing everything possible to avoid making a decision. This will of course be the downfall of what were successful organisations until a month ago because they will be utterly incapable of making the sorts of decisions needed to start operating properly again. It is not that there is anything inherently wrong with management, some has to exist, it is just the number of unproductive, usually highly paid, individuals that appear to be necessary. This includes all those business analysts, project managers, relationship managers and such like as well as the traditional manglement that routinely cause chaos through inaction,

  2. holmegm Bronze badge

    It's almost funny, watching people sink into a quagmire of contradictions, while they think that *you* (I guess?) are the ones sinking (sinking upwards?).

    Go ahead, explain to ordinary people why they can't be allowed to go to, say, the dentist, or even, you know, work, but they *have* to allow other people to come here all the way from foreign countries. To, um, work. And if they disagree, they are just evil-racist-bad-ungood. Go on, I'll wait.

    Go on, tell them how *essential* it is, how we just *have* to do it, to fill the plentiful jobs, because we clearly have no workers available here to do it. I'll wait ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      MiguelC has raised you a valid objection just a couple posts above, which you have ignored. I'm going to try to explain it to you again - I don't think you'll bother to acknowledge it, but it might be useful to anyone else who is honestly wondering about the same topic.

      There is some difference between a *travel* ban and an *immigration* ban. A *travel* ban makes sense in the context of stopping a pandemic. Lots and lots of countries are doing it right now. I don't know whether it would be useful for the USA or not, but if it was enacted I wouldn't consider it out of place.

      An *immigration* ban implies stopping not just travelling, but also all kinds of bureaucratic procedures (green cards, asylum requests, etc...) that don't necessarily involve physically traveling. At the same time, depending on how it's worded, it might not stop citizens from moving around - and the spread of a virus is unaffected by your citizenship status.

      In essence, an immigration ban doesn't really make sense in the context of stopping a virus from spreading. The fact that Trump specifically chose to use the term "immigration ban" instead of "travel ban" is not a coincidence, but rather a deliberate choice: he's not talking about a health measure; he's talking about a protectionist measure, very thinly disguised as a health measure. This is further proved by the reference to "protecting jobs", which has absolutely nothing to do with preventing contagions.

      The backlash is not about letting immigrants do jobs that people under lockdown can't do; that is patently absurd, as any immigrant that arrived in the USA now would be subject to the same lockdown as everyone else. Attempting to characterize the backlash in such a fashion is just a strawman, a rhetorical trick. It suggests that you don't want to debate this rationally, which is why I'm really writing this for anyone else.

      The backlash is about attempting to use a health emergency to push controversial but non-health-related policies. Anyone who likes democracy in general should be very, very wary about a leader who attempts to leverage an emergency to push unrelated policies. That is something that unfortunately happens, on all sides of the debate, but honest and freedom-loving people should condemn it each time. It is not a healthy way to run a country.

      1. My-Handle

        To address your first sentence, MiguelC made his post about an hour and a half after OP (holmegm).

      2. holmegm Bronze badge

        Keeping a pipeline of foreign immigration open during a pandemic makes no sense. Period.

        Yes, there are administrative bits that aren't directly equal with travel, but they are in support of the ultimate goal; flow of people from there to here.

        Yes, there are two parts to it - 1. why keep the flow of people in during a pandemic, and 2. *especially* why do it to fill jobs, when the anti-pandemic measures have resulted in artificially high unemployment?

        This is a *great* time to ask why we need immigration right now. To increase our population density (now??)? To fill plentiful jobs? Why, exactly?

        "Anyone who likes democracy in general should be very, very wary about a leader who attempts to leverage an emergency to push unrelated policies."

        This is so rich in irony that I'm almost tempted to just let it sit there. It's the *governors* who have used this emergency to suspend civil liberties, suppress protests, engage in wacky arbitrary command and control economic regulation, etc.

        1. jospanner

          No one cares about your right-wing libertarian nonsense.

          Stay indoors, you utter child.

          1. P. Lee Silver badge

            Yeah holmegm! You and your right-wing civil liberties. What kind of Nazi are you? Just because you haven't done anything wrong doesn't mean you shouldn't be under house-arrest. Its right-wing fascists like you who think the State shouldn't control your every move.

            Next you'll be suggesting people should be allowed to choose what level of protection they want. Only the State has that right, you peasant, kneel before the almighty State!

            Just remember - there has never been a situation where high levels of government control over society has resulted in something bad happening. Why would you want freedom when politicians are offering you security?

            1. jason_derp Bronze badge

              "Just because you haven't done anything wrong doesn't mean you shouldn't be under house-arrest. Its right-wing fascists like you who think the State shouldn't control your every move."

              Holy crap, not to be trusted with lighters, haulin round that posse of strawfolk.

          2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

            Would appreciate it if people would stop conflating "right-wing" with "libertarian".

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Because a) tourists don't carry the virus but prospective immigrants do and b) there's no such thing as community spread.

          The pipeline is already there because the US hasn't grounded all flights. Banning immigration while letting in tourists and business visitors and travellers in transit does the square root of one half of fuck all. Immigrants who sort out their immigration outside the US, immigrate, isolate for 14 days then start work after no symptoms are less likely to spread the virus than travellers passing through who do not isolate.

          It's the typical populist bullshit targetted at the hard of thinking. Look, there's a squirrel.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. jason_derp Bronze badge

      Why the hell would somebody want to enter the US right now? It's like seeing a huge lineup for discount kicks to the nuts. You can go lick doorknobs and die without medical care from the subsequent health issues in any country you want, why go through the trouble of immigrating to accomplish the same thing?

      1. holmegm Bronze badge

        And yet, despite all your "clever" quips, they do. And if anybody dares suggest stopping them, you have a fit.

    3. ibmalone Silver badge

      International travel, especially immigration, is something people do infrequently. Going to the bar or the hairdresser is something people do frequently, to sit in the same seat three other people have sat in in the past hour, close to others for long periods of time (and in the case of dentists they have to stare right down your throat, and then the next person's, and the next person's... something few flight attendants do). Coronavirus is already widely spread in the USA, people flying in for whatever reason can be asked to isolate (haven't they suspended most flights anyway). People going around behaving as they were before this broke out and pretending nothing is going on will spread it far far more.

      It's funny I suppose. Some people like to pretend they'd be great in a war, but when we find out people are dying and the way to stop it is to hunker down for a while, they go to pieces. What most of the world is doing, right now, that's discipline and determination.

  3. Nifty

    I thought everyone was working from home.

  4. RobThBay

    Invisible enemy LOL

    I wonder if his invisible friends helped him decide who the invisible enemy was?

    Hhmm.... does that mean the invisible enemy of my invisible enemy is my invisible friend?

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Invisible enemy LOL

      And where has the invisible hand been roaming since it gave the world economy a prostate check back in 2007/8?

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Invisible enemy LOL

        You are Adam Smith and I claim my £5!

  5. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Stop

    Trump is playing to his political base....

    But as for Github and its contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), there is a difference between working for a government arm that encharged with enforcing a country's immigration laws, and working for some organization whose stated policy is "immigrants out!" and "America/Europe/Australia for Americans/Europeans/Australians!" You can certainly debate that the immigration laws are too harsh or too lenient, but they are laws that have been passed by the governments and representative bodies concerned, and then are regularly examined by courts to make sure that people ensnared by those laws are given due process.

    For example, I bet Github has contracts with lots of European defense ministries, navies, coast guards and border police organizations that are instrumental in turning back migrants trying to get into Europe across the Mediterranean and Aegean seas.

  6. Drew Scriver Bronze badge

    H1B workers are essentially owned by companies...

    Aside from a number of benefits for the H1B-workers, they are pretty much at the mercy of their corporate sponsor. Not entirely unlike foreign laborers whose employer confiscates their passport.

    The sponsorship ends as soon as the company no longer requires their services and it cannot be transferred to another company. This tends to make for a rather docile and compliant workforce. Very few H1B-workers dare rock the boat out of fear that it would result in them having to leave the USA.

    I can't help but think that's a big part of companies' push for H1B.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aren't his wife and/or ex-wife born and raised abroad?

    I don't think he's anti-immigration. I think he's just a racist.

    1. Drew Scriver Bronze badge

      Re: Aren't his wife and/or ex-wife born and raised abroad?

      That's a serious accusation. Have proof?

      racism[ rey-siz-uh m ]

      noun

      1) a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.

      2) a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.

      3) hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

      Disclaimer: I voted for a third-party candidate.

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: Aren't his wife and/or ex-wife born and raised abroad?

        The Mango Mussolini’s own comments about black and Hispanic (especially, but not limited to, Mexicans; Puerto Ricans, who are _American citizens_, are apparently ‘island Mexicans’, as are Cubans) people say a lot about He Of The Long Red Tie. Strangely, he seems to like Jews _and_ Arabs, though he doesn’t care for Turks and rates Iranians as lower than Mexicans.

        Yes, I think that he’s a racist. Indeed, he’s the most racist Prez since Woodrow Wilson, and may beat WW for the title of Most Racist Prez Ever, hard to do when the competition includes actual slave-holders.

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: Aren't his wife and/or ex-wife born and raised abroad?

          "Jew" and "Arab" are usually considered races. You can be Arabic and American or Jordanian or Egyptian etc.

          The rest are nationalities, not races. I think that's why someone quoted the definition, to try to avoid this confusion.

          Does Trump dislike certain behaviour or is his displeasure directed at physical appearance and genetic lineage?

          1. WolfFan Silver badge

            Re: Aren't his wife and/or ex-wife born and raised abroad?

            The Turks you may be thinking of are from Turkey, but there are assorted other Turks, as in the race, all the way across Asia to China. Azeris, Uzbeks, and so on are all Turks, mostly, there are a few Armenians and Kurds and whatnot in there too. Remember always, the Turks in what is now Turkey moved there from Central Asia and conquered the locals, getting as far as Vienna and Malta before being turned back. There were Kurds and Armenians there long before there were Turks.

            Iranians are (mostly) ethnic Farsi. That’s a race. Again, there are Kurds and others mixed in; this time, the Farsi were there well before the others. In particular Farsi are NOT Arabs, and will get quite upset with any who confuses a civilized people with those barbarous savages. When I was in university, several of the grad student teaching assistants were Iranian, two groups: pro and anti-Shah. The only thing the two groups could agree on was how much they despised Arabs.

            El Don del Mar-a-Largo, Bozo por de Vida, doesn’t like Turks in general, including Azeris and Uzbeks. And he ain’t fond of Farsi, though I suspect that he doesn’t care for Kurds either, Iraqi, Iranian, Iraqi, Turkish, or whatever; Kurds once were as far south as Egypt, Salah ad-Din, Sultan Yusuf of Syria and Egypt, was a Kurd.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Aren't his wife and/or ex-wife born and raised abroad?

        Seems like racist grandpa is racist on all three counts to me.

      3. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: Aren't his wife and/or ex-wife born and raised abroad?

        It seems citing a dictionary definition of racism and asking for facts supporting an accusation is extremely unpopular.

        1. holmegm Bronze badge

          Re: Aren't his wife and/or ex-wife born and raised abroad?

          Don't try to confuse us with facts!

    2. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: Aren't his wife and/or ex-wife born and raised abroad?

      Two of three TrumpWives(™) were foreigners, showing that there are so e jobs that very few native-born Americans will do. Der Orangeuraun’s paternal grandfather was an (illegal) immigrant from East Central Europe. The two foreign TrumpWives(™) are also from East Central Europe. His mother was Scots (insert amti-Scots joke here). At least one of the foreign TrumpWives(™) was an ‘escort’ prior to landing him. (Insert joke about East Central European porno here)

      You can’t make this stuff up.

    3. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: Aren't his wife and/or ex-wife born and raised abroad?

      Nah. For Donald Trump, only Donald Trump matters and everyone else just don’t. Being racist requires some level of interest in other people that I think Donald Trump does not have.

      But he does know what his supporters want to hear and since he doesn’t give a shit about anyone he will just give it to them (deliberately in such a way that courts will later block it and he then can claim to be “sabotaged by libruls”, which keeps his fans angry and “business” happy).

  8. Bitsminer

    biz is biz

    if GitHub was so sure the country needed those immigrants and worried for their welfare then, er, why exactly was it working with the controversial Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency?

    Because it's just business. You don't see oil companies denying gasoline to tree-hugging Greenpeace-loving anti-carbon-lifeform semi-literate politically exasperating humans trying to refill their 30 year-old Toyota smokewagons do you? Think of the consequences if they tried.

    Actually discriminating against customers is not good business. You can sell them the github service *and* you can complain about the government policies of the politicians at the same time. And do it with a straight face. People who think otherwise should sit down and think about consequences of not allowing a separation of personal politics from business.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: biz is biz

      >People who think otherwise should sit down and think about consequences of not allowing a separation of personal politics from business.

      Yes - you end up with Google, Facebook, YouTube, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon... That isn't good.

      They just want the infrastructure and sales benefits of being the in the US without the labour costs of being there.

  9. mark l 2 Silver badge

    With Trump in the White house who in their right mind want to go to the US anyway? He would rather risk a second wave of corona virus outbreaks by opening up businesses again to win back voter for November elections than actually do what is best for the American people.

    1. fajensen Silver badge

      On the plus side of the pandemic, March 2020 is the first March since 2002 without a school shooting!

      1. John G Imrie
        Headmaster

        Hang on, as everyone is now home schooling surly any home shooting should be classified as a school shooting.

    2. John G Imrie
      Trollface

      What November elections?

      Do you actually expect there to be elections in November after the second waver of corona virus hits?

      1. holmegm Bronze badge

        Re: What November elections?

        There are some state governors who certainly hope that there aren't.

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