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US tech firms including Apple, Google, file legal action against Trump’s travel ban

Besides Google, Microsoft and Apple, other tech firms that have filed the motion against Donald Trump’s immigration ban include Facebook, eBay and Intel


Google is among the 97 technology giants that have filed a motion in a US court against President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration order calling it “violation” of the laws and the Constitution. Photo: AP
Google is among the 97 technology giants that have filed a motion in a US court against President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration order calling it “violation” of the laws and the Constitution. Photo: AP

San Francisco: Silicon Valley’s top firms, including Microsoft, Apple and Google, are among 97 technology giants that have filed a motion in a US court against President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration order calling it “violation” of the laws and the Constitution.

The ban represents “a sudden shift in the rules governing entry into the US, and is inflicting substantial harm on US companies,” says the court document filed on Sunday, which was also backed by Twitter, Netflix and Uber.

The motion was filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which on Sunday denied the US government’s emergency request to resume Trump’s travel ban, CNNmoney reported. Other companies that have filed included other top tech firms including Facebook, eBay and Intel, as well as non-tech companies such as Levi Strauss and Chobani. It’s the latest move by the tech industry to oppose Trump’s controversial order, which has run into hurdles in the US court system.

The temporary travel ban which affects seven Muslim-majority countries that include Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen has been a highly controversial move by the new Republican President causing widespread protests around the world. The appeals court has asked for both sides to file legal briefs before the court makes its final decision after a federal judge halted the programme on Friday.

The lawsuit in question was filed by the attorneys general of Washington state and Minnesota. The motion from the 97 companies seeks permission to file what is known as an amicus brief in the case.

Tech companies have been at the vanguard of businesses opposing the ban. Their court motion filed on Sunday emphasizes the important role of immigration in the US economy.

“Immigrants make many of the Nation’s greatest discoveries, and create some of the country’s most innovative and iconic companies,” it says. “The Order represents a significant departure from the principles of fairness and predictability that have governed the immigration system of the US for more than fifty years. The Order inflicts significant harm on American business, innovation, and growth as a result,” the brief stated.

The legal briefing argues that immigration and economic growth are “intimately tied,” and that the order would damage the US’s ability to attract the world’s talent. It is not the first legal move by tech firms over 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. An estimated 37% of the workforce in Silicon Valley is foreign born, according to a report by the think tank Joint Venture.

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