More than 100 companies join legal fight against President Trump’s executive order on immigration

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America’s biggest tech firms have stepped into the legal fight against President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

A total of 127 companies — including Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Netflix and Twitter — filed court papers declaring that President Trump’s executive order on immigration “violates the immigration laws and the Constitution.” The wave of opposition came in two court filings, one on Sunday, February 5th and one on Monday.

Almost all the companies that signed on in support are tech companies. The few exceptions include yogurt producer Chobani, snack maker Kind and fashion brand Levi Strauss. All three companies were founded by immigrants.

The ban represents “a sudden shift in the rules governing entry into the United States, and is inflicting substantial harm on U.S. companies,” says the court document.

It’s the latest move by the tech industry to oppose President Trump’s controversial order, which has run into hurdles in the U.S. court system.

The motion was filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which on Sunday morning denied the U.S. government’s emergency request to resume President Trump’s travel ban. The appeals court has asked for both sides to file legal briefs before it makes a final decision.

The lawsuit in question was filed by the attorneys general of Washington state and Minnesota. The motion from the companies seeks permission to file what’s known as an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in the case.

The San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit has a reputation as one of the most liberal in the nation. No matter how it rules, the next stop for the case is likely be the U.S. Supreme Court.

President Trump’s executive order bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days and all refugees from entering for 120 days. It also indefinitely halts refugees from Syria.

Tech companies have been at the vanguard of businesses opposing the ban. Their court motion emphasizes the important role of immigration in the U.S. economy.

“Immigrants make many of the Nation’s greatest discoveries, and create some of the country’s most innovative and iconic companies,” it says.

“At the same time, America has long recognized the importance of protecting ourselves against those who would do us harm,” it adds. “But it has done so while maintaining the fundamental commitment to welcoming immigrants — through increased background checks and other controls on people seeking to enter our country.”

It’s not the first legal move by tech firms over President Trump’s ban.

Amazon and Expedia filed motions last week in the Washington attorney general’s lawsuit. They argued the immigration order will hurt their employees and their businesses.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick on Thursday dropped out of President Trump’s business advisory council, citing the ban.

“The executive order is hurting many people in communities all across America,” Kalanick wrote in a memo to employees. “Families are being separated, people are stranded overseas and there’s a growing fear the U.S. is no longer a place that welcomes immigrants.”

Uber and its rival Lyft both support the motion filed Sunday.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has defended his decision to take part in the advisory council, saying it’s better to be on the inside where he can push President Trump on issues like immigration and climate change. Tesla is not a signatory to the motion.

5 comments

  • deleted again

    Since Trump is not proposing a total ban on immigration can we assume that these companies are protesting because they hire illegal immigrants?

    • Joe

      Once again Trumpers fail (or refuse) to see the big picture. It is not a total ban on immigration but an unjustified ban against the immigration of those belonging to particular a country and religion – that is the reason these companies and people are protesting.

      • jimi5

        Obama suspended the Iraq refugee program for 6 months over terrorism fears in 2011, why no protests back then? Oh I forgot, because it was Obama.

  • Mark Allen

    Why a Nation Sales Tax of 5% is better than a Tariff of 20%.
    • The consumer will be hit less hard with a 5% Sales tax than a large Tariff of 20%
    • The Sales tax could reduce taxes that Companies pay out.
    • The corporate and individual Income Tax’s could eventually be reduced because an National Sales Tax could replace the Income Taxes.
    • The smaller Income Tax will allow many of the exemptions to be deleated more easily, simplifying the tax forms.

  • Mark Allen

    Why do business’ really need immigrants?
    • Immigrants will often work for less, than the average American Individuals.
    • There is a large number of indigenous people who qualify for these jobs, but they are ignored by companies who are looking for “cheap” labor.
    • Even though I had a BA in finance, the company I worked for, HP, hired an immigrant Philippian to take the position. Other companies are doing the same thing. I was told by that manager, that I cost too much. She had an associate’s degree in accounting (not even the same requirement for that position). Low costs beat all else I guess.

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