Ever since Donald Trump announced his immigration ban two weeks ago, tech industry rivals have been unified in their opposition against the order. But now the firms are making their resistance official: 97 different companies, including Apple, Google, and Facebook, have filed an amicus brief condemning the President’s policy.
The brief was filed late Sunday evening with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. It argues that the ban is illegal, discriminatory, and hinders US companies by making the hiring of new employees from around the world more expensive and difficult. The firms say it will also have a negative effect on how they do business because of travel restrictions on their employees.
The Order effects a sudden shift in the rules governing entry into the United States, and is inflicting substantial harm on U.S. companies. It hinders the ability of American companies to attract great talent; increases costs imposed on business; makes it more difficult for American firms to compete in the international market-place; and gives global enterprises a new, significant incentive to build operations — and hire new employees — outside the United States.
The brief notes other immigration laws that were eventually overturned, including the Literacy Act and the Johnson-Reed Act.
The filing follows the temporary lifting of the ban by Seattle Federal Judge James Robart on Friday after hearing arguments from Washington state and Minnesota. An appeal by the government to have it immediately restored was rejected early on Sunday. “Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”
Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2017
As noted by TechCrunch, a few notable absences from the list are Amazon, Oracle, IBM, Space X, and Tesla. While Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has been critical of Trump in the past, he has yet to speak out against the order. And both Oracle and IBM have been conspicuously quiet since Trump unveiled the ban.
As for Elon Musk, the Tesla/Space X boss recently announced that he would be staying on Trump’s advisory board, unlike Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, as he believes the best way to bring about change is to remain on the forum.
Virtually every large US tech firm has opposed the ban, be it with actions, words, or both. Several companies have started funds that will be donated to immigration charities, or to help employees affected by the order.
The brief follows last week’s news that several tech giants are in the process of writing a formal letter of protest to the President.
Here's the full list of companies participating in the brief:
- Aeris Communications
- Brit + Co
- Castlight Health
- Citrix Systems
- Copia Institute
- Engine Advocacy
- General Assembly
- JAND d/b/a Warby Parker
- Levi Strauss & Co.
- Lithium Technologies
- Maplebear d/b/a Instacart
- Marin Software
- Motivate International
- Rocket Fuel
- Wikimedia Foundation
- Y Combinator