[Updated: More Join] Apple, Facebook, Google, Uber, and Others File Legal Brief to Oppose President’s Immigration Order

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Feb 6, 2017
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The country’s biggest tech companies filed a legal brief late Sunday in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opposing President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration – also known as the immigration ban. Apple, Google, Facebook, and over 90 other companies have filed this amicus brief.

Tech firms legally fight against President’s immigration ban

“Ninety-seven companies, from Apple Inc. to Zynga Inc., filed an impassioned legal brief condemning President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, stepping up the industry’s growing opposition to the policy,” Bloomberg reported on Monday. Last week, reports had indicated that the industry was considering to send a joint letter to the President opposing his immigration ban. In this letter – leaked last week – the industry had emphasized the importance of immigrants in the economy.

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Bloomberg added that while the companies had originally planned to file the brief later this week, they “accelerated efforts over the weekend after other legal challenges to the order.”

President Trump had issued an executive order on January 27, imposing a 90-day ban affecting travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day ban on all refugees. On Friday, a federal judge put a temporary nationwide block on the order after other legal challenges.

A total of 97 companies have filed this legal brief. These include Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Netflix, Snap, Uber, Twitter, Zynga, and Intel. Amazon wasn’t listed in the brief as the CEO Jeff Bezos was backing the original lawsuit by Washington state’s attorney general that had resulted in a temporary halt to the immigration ban on Friday.

While most of the companies that signed the letter are tech firms, there were a few exceptions, including yogurt producer Chobani and fashion brand Levi Strauss. Both of them, like several tech companies, were founded by immigrants. “The Order represents a significant departure from the principles of fairness and predictability that have governed the immigration system of the United States for more than fifty years,” the brief stated.

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Immigrants or their children founded more than 200 of the companies on the Fortune 500 list.

Immigrants make many of the Nation’s greatest discoveries, and create some of the country’s most innovative and iconic companies. America has long recognized the importance of protecting ourselves against those who would do us harm. But it has done so while maintaining our fundamental commitment to welcoming immigrants – through increased background checks and other controls on people seeking to enter our country.

Of course, the federal government can and should implement targeted, appropriate adjustments to the nation’s immigration system to enhance the Nation’s security. But a broad, open-ended ban – together with an indication that the ban could be expanded to other countries without notice – does not fit the goal of making the country more secure. Instead, it will undermine American interests.

[Updated]: 128 now

A report from TechCrunch suggests that an additional 31 companies have filed to join the amicus brief, including SpaceX, Tesla, ZenDesk, Evernote, Coursera, Udacity, TripAdvisor, and Adobe.

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