97 Tech Companies Tell Appeals Court They Oppose Travel Ban

Some 97 technology companies filed arguments with a federal appeals court Sunday arguing that President Trump’s travel ban will hinder America’s ability to “attract great talent,” increase costs on business and make it tougher for American companies to compete in the world.

The companies include Apple, Inc., Facebook, Inc., Google Inc., Intel Corp., Levi Strauss & Co., Lyft Inc., Microsoft Corp., Netflix and Uber. (A complete list.) The brief was one of seven filed by a variety of groups with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, urging the court to keep in place the stay blocking the January 27 travel ban issued as an executive order.

Under the travel ban, citizens of seven Muslim-dominated countries would be barred for at least 90 days; the entry bar may be lengthened; the refugee admissions program would be suspended for at least 120 days, and waivers to the order are at the complete discretion of the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security.

The countries affected include Syria, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan.

Following issuance of the travel ban order Jan. 27, lawsuits were filed around the country to challenge the order. On Friday, U.S. District Judge James Robart issued a nationwide injunction halting enforcement of the travel ban and allowing refugees and others with valid green cards and visas to come to the U.S.

The U.S. Justice Department immediately appealed to the 9th Circuit asking to lift Robart’s stay. That is where the case is now. The appeals court gave both sides until later today to file arguments in the case and many groups have joined to file arguments in support of Robart’s stay.

“Immigrants make many of the Nation’s greatest discoveries, and create some of the country’s most innovative and iconic companies,” the brief states. The executive order “effects a sudden shift in the rules governing entry into the United States, and is inflicting substantial harm on U.S. companies,” the firms argue.

They say it violates the immigration laws and Constitution, as well as a 1965 law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of national origin.

Also filing arguments with the appeals court are the ACLU, the state of Hawaii, the Korematsu Center, a group of law professors, Americans for Separation of Church and State and a refugee protection group known as HIAS.

Case: Washington v. Trump, No. 17-35105

Tech companies’ Amicus brief here.


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