The American Civil Liberties Union is joining Y Combinator, the premier startup school in Silicon Valley.
Y Combinator is known for shaping companies from ideas to launch, including well-known tech stars like Dropbox and Airbnb. Only recently it’s started working with non-profits to help them tap into its network of tech entrepreneurs, investors, and engineers.
“The ACLU has always been important, but has a particularly important role right now,” Y Combinator president Sam Altman said in a blog post announcing its addition. “We are honored to be able to help, and we will send some of our team to New York for the rest of the batch to assist.”
The inclusion of the ACLU in its latest batch of companies that will graduate in March is a curious tie up given Trump adviser Peter Thiel is also a part-time partner at the accelerator.
Thiel, a venture capitalist who also serves on Facebook’s board, didn’t directly address whether or not he supports Trump’s most recent executive order on immigration. His only response so far, through a spokesman, was to say that he “doesn’t support a religious test, and the administration has not imposed one.”
The ACLU is vehemently against the ban and has a 7-point action plan to challenge the Trump administration. In the weekend after Trump’s executive order on immigration, the ACLU raised more than $24 million in online donations, which it is committing to putting towards defending immigrants’ rights.