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Linux Foundation’s Jim Zemlin Speaks Out on Immigration Ban


Here at FOSS Force, we often disagree with the Linux Foundation and executive director, Jim Zemlin’s, thoughts and actions, especially as far as desktop Linux goes. We do so, however, while also recognizing the great amount of good, and the hard work the foundation undertakes for Linux and open source projects in other areas. We also appreciate that the Linux Foundation is actively involved in areas outside the realm of software and computing and that the organization can usually be counted on to take stands that come down on the side of improving and protecting the human condition.

Today, acting as the executive director of the foundation, Zemlin issued a short, official response to Donald Trump’s actions, which have barred people from designated countries from entering the United States. We are sharing his words with you here. At FOSS Force, we offer a big thumbs up to Zemlin and the organization he heads for having the courage to speak out on this most important issue.

We believe this is not a time for silence. It is a time for making your voice heard.

Linux Foundation Executive Director’s Statement on Immigration Ban

The Linux operating system underlies nearly every piece of technology in modern life, from phones to satellites to web searches to your car. For the Linux Foundation, openness is both a part of our core principles and also a matter of practicality. Linux, the largest cooperatively developed software project in history, is created by thousands of people from around the world and made available to anyone to use for free. The Linux Foundation also hosts dozens of other open source projects covering security, networking, cloud, automotive, blockchain and other areas. Last year, the Linux Foundation hosted over 20,000 people from 85 countries at more than 150 events. Open source is a fundamentally global activity but America has always served as the hub for innovation and collaboration. Linux’s creator, Linux Foundation Fellow Linus Torvalds, immigrated to America from Finland and became a citizen. The Administration’s policy on immigration restrictions is antithetical to the values of openness and community that have enabled open source to succeed. I oppose the immigration ban.

Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, The Linux Foundation


  1. RF RF January 30, 2017

    Make America great again … America and its citizens first !

  2. MG MG January 31, 2017

    How ridiculous.

    The Linux Foundation is now a political organisation?

    That’s almost as ridiculous as celebrities getting involved in politics.

    No, wait

  3. JH JH January 31, 2017

    Are you trying to transforming Linux from an OS to a political tool?

    Please don’t, this will fracture the community – There’s a reason people don’t discuss politics and religion in certain situations.

  4. Woody Woody January 31, 2017

    I for one will welcome sharia law, can’t wait to see my wife in a sexy hijab or burqa, Hashtag Sarcasm.

  5. belowme belowme January 31, 2017

    please.. for the love of sanity… stfu with politics and stick to kernels………

  6. Chief Shirtlord Chief Shirtlord January 31, 2017

    Jim, I’m guessing you are not eating right, perhaps a b-1 or b-3 deficiency.

    Or maybe you are working too hard, that can lead to many types of mental disorder.

    Seriously though, get checked out, as poor health leads to really shitty code.

  7. Whyudothis? Whyudothis? January 31, 2017

    Linux shouldn’t be anyone’s soapbox, no matter how right or wrong they may be.

  8. Mason Lustig Mason Lustig January 31, 2017

    Pity that the Linux Foundation and FossForce have joined the hysterical left and become political. It’s a TEMPORARY ban. The Administration has committed to admitting 50,000 refugees this year, same as Obama admitted on average during his eight years. The ban is similar to that once imposed by President Clinton. The temporary ban is intended to allow time for developing a vetting process to protect Americans.

  9. Mike Mike January 31, 2017

    Kudos to Jim Zemlin.

    The right is always concerned when people or organizations speak out against tyranny. “That shouldn’t be politicized.” or “They should just shut up and get back to “. become the rallying cries to silence dissent.

    Free speech is a good thing.

    Trump’s ban is bad for America. He is a racist idiot being guided by other racists idiots.

    Trump’s ban will only further radicalize people against America, while providing no protection and keeping out people who would work with us. There is no vetting process that works and it is just a smokescreen to discriminate against people who look different.

    Look at some terrorist attacks over the last decade. Many were performed by people who were either brought to the country as children, or even BORN IN THE UNITED STATES AS CITIZENS.

    Ironically, the “SMALL GOVERNMENT!” right never applies that mantra when it counts. They prefer a police state so they can “feel safe”, even when that safety is an illusion brought on by the complete and utter lack of freedom.

    Fire Trump (from a cannon preferably)! I hear Elon Musk wants to send him to space. Let’s make Donald Trump the first man on Mars (his ego would love that). Just don’t go back for him.

  10. Lee Lee January 31, 2017

    To: The Linux Foundation – While I respect your right to your opinion, your values and standards are sorely out of line. Linux and the Linux community are not, and should not be, part of this issue. The central issue is whether or not the temporary inconvenience to a few overrides the safety and security of approximately 320 million people in the United States of America. It’s called national security. For those of you that do not understand this principle then perhaps its time to take a step back, think it through, meditate, contemplate, understand it completely, and then render a rational, sensible and logical opinion.

    To: Mike — Please read the above.

  11. Mike Mike January 31, 2017

    Trump’s ban has nothing to do with national security, except as security theater.

    Trump is a ham-fisted, slow-witted, fraud.

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
    — Benjamin Franklin

    “But the only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted, when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.”
    — Thomas Jefferson

  12. Kevin Marschke Kevin Marschke January 31, 2017

    FOSS Force and LF, please just stay out of politics. I come here to get away from that, I come here to talk with non-political-radicals and educated people. I don’t want this to turn into a divided circle jerk. I mean look at this comment section already, you already have people getting mad at eachother.

    Linux is an international effort, and has **no** place for politics excluding the efforts of freedom.

    Don’t be news. Be FossForce.

  13. Mike Mike January 31, 2017

    @Kevin Marschke

    > “Linux is an international effort, and has **no** place for politics excluding the efforts of freedom.”

    …and Trump opposes those efforts of freedom. Don’t listen to the news, check his history.

    No one really likes discussing politics, least of all me, but you can only bury your head in the sand so long before someone dangerous like Trump comes along…and no mistake…he is a danger.

  14. Christine Hall Christine Hall January 31, 2017

    @Mike I understand that you’re passionate on this subject, but your points might be better heard if you tone down the rhetoric and name calling. You’ll never convince a person to take a deeper look at their candidate’s policies by calling him “a ham-fisted, slow-witted, fraud.” Putting people on the defensive is not a way to get an honest dialog going.

  15. Mike Mike January 31, 2017

    I’m just being honest about him (Trump).

    I’m more interested in bringing attention to his policies to those who might care, not making converts of those who have proven they don’t.

    Trump needs to be stopped.

  16. Christine Hall Christine Hall January 31, 2017

    @Mike That may be. But, IMO, you could still make your case in a more civil fashion. This isn’t Reddit or Slashdot. We’d like everyone to feel comfortable here.

  17. Mike Mike January 31, 2017


    Is it better to take a passive aggressive approach to insults like Lee did (see above)?

    Trump is all the things I’ve called him, and more. People living in denial is no reason to blunt the truth.

    Your site, your rules, but I will always respond in kind to know-nothings and racists (closeted or otherwise).

  18. Lee Lee January 31, 2017

    Mike, I understand your response. It speaks for itself.

  19. Lee Lee January 31, 2017

    To: Christine – I agree completely that everyone should feel comfortable here. With that in mind I will not further dignify Mike’s comments with a response. I wish all on this forum a very happy day and best wishes for all that you wish to achieve.

  20. Christine Hall Christine Hall January 31, 2017

    @Mike They’re not rules. Just suggestions on how you can better make your points.

  21. Bob Bob January 31, 2017

    So much misinformation in Jim’s comments. It is parroting so much misinformation that is in the media today concerning the 90-120 day TEMPORARY travel ban. This temporary ban would NOT have stopped Linus Torvalds entry into the U.S. today as his editorial suggests. It is a temporary ban from refugees coming in from just 7 countries that even the Obama administration said is a hotbed of terrorist activity and even the Obama administration said that some terrorist from those 7 countries would most likely make it to the U.S. with their vetting process.

    But the media and the left will quickly overreact to everything and anything that comes out of the Trump Administration and it seems that FOSS and others are doing the same goddamn thing. Oh, and BTW, Obama shut down immigrants coming in from IRAN in 2011 for 6 months. Where was your faux outrage then?! Get over yourselves already.

  22. Mike Mike January 31, 2017


    > “Mike, I understand your response. It speaks for itself.”

    As does yours, but not the way you think.

  23. tracyanne tracyanne February 1, 2017

    To All those complaining about Jim Zemlin turning Linux into something political.

    First Free Open Source has always been political. It has always been about community, freedom and choice, which is quite antithetical to the values so often promoted by Corporations and Politicians.

    Second He did not speak for the Foundation. His words were.

    “The Administration’s policy on immigration restrictions is antithetical to the values of openness and community that have enabled open source to succeed. I oppose the immigration ban.”

    >>>>I oppose the immigration ban.<<<<

  24. tracyanne tracyanne February 1, 2017

    PS: This is a first for me defending anything Zemlin has said.

  25. tracyanne tracyanne February 1, 2017

    January 31, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Except Bob, Obama and now Trump have conveniently left out those Middle Eastern Countries, that have actually produced and supported the greatest number of anti-U.S. terrorists — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, UAE

    These countries are conveniently excluded from the ban list because the tyrannical regimes that run those countries are close U.S. allies.

    In fact Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Iran, Sudan, and Yemen have produced virtually no such terrorists; as the Cato Institute documented

    “Foreigners from those seven nations have killed zero Americans in terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1975 and the end of 2015.”

    As of a 2015 study by the New America research center, deaths caused by terrorism from right-wing nationalists since 9/11 have significantly exceeded those from Muslim extremists

    See also

  26. Thad Thad February 2, 2017

    @Lee: “The central issue is whether or not the temporary inconvenience to a few overrides the safety and security of approximately 320 million people in the United States of America. It’s called national security.”

    You might want to look up what Benjamin Franklin had to say on the subject of giving up essential liberty for temporary safety.

  27. tracyanne tracyanne February 3, 2017

    RE: the 90-120 day TEMPORARY travel ban

    According to Government Attorneys somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000 visas have been cancelled PERMANENTLY, due to Trumps “Temporary” Travel ban.

    >>>>More than 100,000 U.S. visas were revoked when President Trump issued his travel ban executive order that affected seven predominantly Muslim countries, a government attorney said Friday in federal court. The news came during a hearing for a suit filed by two Yemeni brothers who weren’t allowed to enter the country Saturday after arriving at Dulles International Airport. They were put on a return flight to Ethiopia shortly following Trump’s ban. A judge at the hearing said the order was “chaos.” He added, “It was not clear at all that thought was put into it as should be.” The AP later reported that the State Department puts the number of nixed visas at 60,000. <<<<

  28. tracyanne tracyanne February 4, 2017

    The travel ban appears to actually be illegal, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 specifically prohibits any person [including the President] from refusing a prospective immigrant a visa based on the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth or place of residence.

    The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 supersedes the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 , which did allow the President to suspend Visas based on a person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth or place of residence. Anyone claiming the President has the right to do what Trump did will be referring to the 1952 Act, which is overridden by the 1965 Act.

    This will be why Obama never issued such a travel ban, even though he too incorrectly, for whatever political reasons, claimed those 7 countries [Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Iran, Sudan, and Yemen] were the source of Terrorists in the US.

    See also Op-Ed Trump’s cruel, illegal refugee executive order

  29. Eddie G. Eddie G. February 5, 2017

    Wow. So I have a few questions: Would someone like Timothy Mcveigh be considered a terrorist? Wasn’t he a born U.S. citizen? Would a ban on travel have prevented him from acting? its find to ban people from terrorist “growing” countries, but it doesn’t protect anyone, because if there are U.S. citizens performing acts of terrorism then you could shut down all airports and people would still be in danger. Here are some facts:

    Yes. There’s a lot wrong with the order to ban travel. And there’s even more wrong with a country where its citizens think its “right” to attack their fellow citizens in the name of a religion that comes from another pat of the world.

    I’m just sayin’…

  30. Mike Mike February 6, 2017

    Interesting how Trump’s “TEMPORARY” ban establishes a complete, “until we say otherwise” ban on Syrian refugees.

    Reading and facts do not seem to be strong suits of those supporting the “TEMPORARY” ban.

  31. tracyanne tracyanne February 6, 2017

    It seems that pretty much the entire US Tech sector, and a few other non tech companies have signed on to an Amicus-Curiae Brief opposing Trumps travel ban see

    The full brief is available as a PDF here

    Some of the companies on the list: Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple, Twitter, Snap, Uber, Airbnb, Lyft, Dropbox, Cloudflare, Box, eBay, GitHub, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Medium, Mozilla, Patreon, Paypal, Pinterest, Reddit, Salesforce, Spotfy, Stripe, Wikimedia, Yelp, Y Combinator

    There are many smaller companies as well.

  32. tracyanne tracyanne February 6, 2017

    Also Attorneys General from the following States have filed an Amicus-Curiae Brief opposing Trumps travel ban and supporting the States of Washington and Minnesota:

    The State of New York, the States of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont, the Commonwealths of Massachusetts, Pennsyvania, and Virginia, and the District of Columbia

    A PDF of the Brief is available here

    See also: More Than 150 Former Federal Prosecutors Have Denounced Trump’s Muslim Ban

  33. Mike Mike February 6, 2017

    No one can accuse Trump of being intelligent:

    “Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!”
    – Donald J. Trump

    Trump you numbskull…they are by DEFINITION not “illegal immigrants” since there was a legal agreement in place to take those refugees in.

    Sheesh, schoolchildren could do a better job. Trump’s entire administration is a joke. A completely unfunny one to be sure, but a joke nevertheless.

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