Immigrant CEO on the ‘political theater’ of DACA
September 23rd, 2017
Vistex founder and CEO Sanjay Shah has just returned from Pennsylvania, where he presented a $5 million donation to Lehigh University.
“I’m an alum,” he told me, referring to the MBA he received there. “That was my gateway to life and living in the United States.”
His comment was a natural segue to talk about DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation. President Donald Trump earlier this month rescinded DACA, giving Congress six months to consider how or whether children of illegal immigrants fit in the United States.
Shah calls the debate “political theater” and says critics of DACA are ignoring its “underlying benefits.”
Just look at the technology industry in the United States, he says. “The folks who would seem to be affected or will be affected by DACA are the active contributors to our economy.”
Shah’s a good example. He immigrated from India at age 20 to attend Lehigh. He went on to work at Price Waterhouse as an audit analyst before stints at General Motors and SAP. He started Vistex, a software company, in 1999. It’s annual revenues are about $225 million.
Read more about Shah in my Taking Names column in the Chicago Sun-Times.