For the second year running, Chubb Chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg is railing against the U.S.’s current immigration policy.
Greenberg, without mentioning U.S. President Donald Trump by name, used his 2018 annual shareholder letter to call for an immigration policy that helps promote security but also welcomes those pursuing freedom and opportunity.
His comments come as the Trump administration is trying to curtail illegal immigration and also drastically reduce admission of legal immigrants.
“We must have a modern, practical yet humanitarian immigration policy that responds to both our needs and the values of who we are as a nation of immigrants – a policy that secures our borders, provides us with the large numbers of foreign skilled and unskilled labor our economy requires, and welcomes with open arms those who seek a better life,” Greenberg wrote in the letter included in Chubb’s 2018 annual report.
Greenberg has railed against Trump’s efforts to restrict immigration at least as far back as early 2017, when a Trump executive order restricted admission of residents from several Arab or African countries. During Chubb’s 2016 fourth-quarter earnings call, for example, Greenberg noted that he is “100 percent for the security of our citizens, but at the same time, America is the land of the free, and we are a beacon and place of refuge for those seeking a better and safer life for themselves and their families.”
Greenberg’s plea for to reach for the American ideal continues in his 2018 shareholder letter.
“America is more than just a nation; it is an ideal, a beacon for the democratic principles that underpin the liberal world order that has, in turn, served us and other nations so well,” Greenberg wrote in his letter. “The irony is that we have never lived in a better time – more people around the world have been lifted out of poverty, more diseases have been eradicated, more wealth has been created, and more of us have enjoyed the benefits of innovation, good health, and relative peace and prosperity than at any other time in human history.”
Greenberg: Current U.S. Policy Adds to Global Instability
With this in mind, he criticizes the U.S.’s current policies as harming these gains, both at home and abroad.
“Our country’s brand of nationalism, as articulated by our leadership, has impacted our policies and relationships and, in turn, our image and standing in world trade and geopolitics,” Greenberg said.
He said that current immigration and other related policies have harmed America’s reputation for reliability, reduced its credibility, and added to global instability.
“We are undermining the liberal world order we constructed, including a system of strategic alliances we built and supported for over seven decades,” Greenberg said. “These alliances are a force multiplier for America’s values and power in the world. Other countries are beginning to seek alternatives, and rivals for global influence fill the leadership vacuum we create with an image of global order that hardly mirrors our own values and beliefs.”
Instead, Greenberg calls for government to return to the idea of America as an ideal that can inspire others.
“As Americans, we should remember who we are – the keepers of a grand experiment in democracy,” Greenberg said. “We should feel confident to promote our values and not be insecure about defending them.”
With the challenges of immigration and other geopolitical volatility ranging from trade tensions to Brexit and the U.S.-China relationship, Greenberg predicted a challenging 2019 for businesses far and wide.
“Business thrives in an environment of certainty, and while a global recession is unlikely in 2019, we are beginning to talk ourselves unnecessarily into one in the next few years,” Greenberg said, referring to the trade tensions that could undo the years of economic growth the U.S. has experienced.