Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, along with other leading technology companies and businesses, are taking a united legal stance against President Donald Trump's immigration ban.
On Sunday, 96 firms have filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, highlighting how the executive order affects their operations. Today, other companies such as HP, Tesla, Slack, and SpaceX signed the amicus, bringing the total number of signatories to 127.
Trump Immigration Order: Who Is Affected And How America Reacted
The Executive Order in question entitled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States" was issued Jan. 27. The order temporarily barred entry of people from seven Muslim-majority nations into the United States and suspended the refugee program of the country. The 90-day ban targeted people from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Libya, Sudan, and Yemen. The order also indicates that the bar could be lengthened and the list of countries could be expanded.
The immediate effect of the immigration ban was confusion at airports and ports as people who are usually granted entry were denied. Those who were in the country and wanted to travel can do so but were unsure if they can go back home.
Trump's travel ban encompasses temporary workers, students, business travelers, visitors, fiancés of U.S. citizens, immigrants, and refugees. Obviously, this cannot be covered by fingers and toes, as hundreds of thousands are affected.
So how did Americans react?
Thousands of Americans went to the streets to peacefully show their disdain on the immigration ban. Google workers walked out to protest, and business leaders such as Apple's Tim Cook issued statements to assert the importance of immigrants.
On Friday, Judge James Robart of a Federal District Court in Seattle issued an order blocking the executive order. The temporary block lifted the 90-day restriction on entry of refugees and citizens of predominantly Muslim countries.
There are also rulings in New York, Boston, and Virginia that questioned Trump's order.
The government must appeal or argue these orders. While the executive branch is entrusted to decide on who enters the country or not, there is also a law that forbids issuance of visa based on one's race, nationality, sex, or place of birth.
Ultimately, the debate will be at the Supreme Court. The highest court of the land should clear the gray areas and decide how much power should be granted to the executive branch when it comes to national security and immigration.
Silicon Valley vs. Trump
The legal brief [PDF] filed over the weekend is a concerted effort of tech companies and other businesses in the United States opposing Trump's immigration order.
"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 -and the Order inflicts significant harm on American business, innovation, and growth as a result," a portion of the amicus brief reads.
"The Order makes it more difficult and expensive for U.S. companies to recruit, hire, and retain some of the world's best employees. It disrupts ongoing business operations. And it threatens companies' ability to attract talent, business, and investment to the United States," it states.
The 53-page document argues the unlawfulness of the executive order and highlights the contribution of immigrants to the economy and society as a whole.
"The tremendous impact of immigrants on America-and on American business - is not happenstance. People who choose to leave everything that is familiar and journey to an unknown land to make a new life necessarily are endowed with drive, creativity, determination -and just plain guts. The energy they bring to America is a key reason why the American economy has been the greatest engine of prosperity and innovation in history," the filing reads.
Below is the initial list of the signatories of the legal brief, and yes, you might end up wondering where the other major tech players are:
Brit + Co
JAND d/b/a Warby Parker
Levi Strauss & Co.
Maplebear Inc. d/b/a Instacart
Y Combinator Management LLC
Below is the list of additional companies that joined the amicus today:
Adobe Systems Incorporated
Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.
Casper Sleep Inc.
Handy Technologies, Inc.
Managed By Q Inc.
New Relic, Inc.
Pandora Media, Inc.
Planet Labs Inc.
Shift Technologies, Inc.
Slack Technologies, Inc.