My co-founders and I have always believed that Spokeo should focus on innovation and not political commentary, as this is where we make the biggest impact on people’s lives. However, recent events have been made in haste that threaten the American values that we believe make this country great. The current administration’s executive order to implement an insensitive ban on the entrance of all people, without any considerations, from seven specific countries is more than concerning. It in no way reflects the values of acceptance, diversity, innovation, and hard work that make this country, and Spokeo, prosperous. These values supersede party lines — they are fundamental in a democracy that respects the choice and the voice of the people.
I moved with my family to the United States from Taiwan when I was 13 years old. My family was fortunate in that we weren’t in a bad place in our home country, as many who come to America seeking refuge are. Yet still, my parents sought the American dream for my sister and me because this country stands for acceptance, hard work, and success. I am proud to run a business here with my co-founders and hundreds of both US-born and immigrant staff to serve millions of people every day. I am thankful for the opportunities American values present for all of us.
Becoming an “American” is about more than citizenship paperwork and country of origin. It is about partaking in, and wholeheartedly believing in, the values that Americans share. I recall my own citizenship ceremony 13 years ago, specifically the pledge I took to become a citizen along with a group of others. The emotion, sheer appreciation and diversity of the group inspires me to this day. I remember the tears of the people who had worked for years for this acceptance, who were overwhelmed knowing that America had fully accepted them. People from all over the world were together pledging allegiance to a set of common values, not an agenda.
We at Spokeo, continue to be inspired by the people we meet every day from all around the world who seek to find refuge in our American values. We are offering complimentary Spokeo accounts to non-profit organizations currently serving refugees/individuals affected by the bans. We will also be making a donation to Tiyya, a non-profit dedicated to helping refugees of all backgrounds with the basic material, educational, and emotional support required to integrate into the communities of Southern California. We encourage our employees to make personal donations to Tiyya too.
To those of us here and to people around the world, America stands for open acceptance, transparency, diversity and innovation. Spokeo stands for these same ideals and stands against any policies that threaten, without any considerations and in such insensitive ways, the great values that others seek in this country.