Josh Horwitz | Quartz | February 6, 2017 | 0 Comments

Nearly 100 Tech Companies Have Filed a Court Document Opposing Trump’s Immigration Ban

Then president-elect Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with technology industry leaders at Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016. Evan Vucci/AP

Nearly 100 American companies have filed an amicus brief expressing their opposition to an executive order by President Donald Trump that places immigration restrictions on citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries. They filed the letter late Feb. 5 to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is currently weighing an appeal from the Trump administration after a ruling by a federal judge in Seattle ordered a national halt to the travel restrictions. (An appellate court has already refused to immediately reinstate them.)

The brief states the executive order “inflicts significant harm on American business, innovation and growth” and “makes it more difficult and expensive for U.S. companies to recruit, hire and retain some of the world’s best employees.” It continues:

Several major companies reported substantial disruptions from the Order, because their employees were ensnared in the Order’s travel restrictions.

This instability and uncertainty will make it far more difficult and expensive for U.S. companies to hire some of the world’s best talent—and impede them from competing in the global marketplace. Businesses and employees have little incentive to go through the laborious process of sponsoring or obtaining a visa, and relocating to the United States, if an employee may be unexpectedly halted at the border. Skilled individuals will not wish to immigrate to the country if they may be cut off without warning from their spouses, grandparents, relatives, and friends—they will not pull up roots, incur significant economic risk, and subject their family to considerable uncertainty to immigrate to the United States in the face of this instability.

Facebook, Google, Apple, Airbnb, Dropbox, Netflix, Quora and Snap are among the 97 companies to sign the document. PayPal, the money transfer company founded by Trump adviser Peter Thiel, as well as Uber, whose CEO briefly served on Trump’s business advisory council before stepping down, have also signed it. The list primarily includes tech companies, though others, like Chobani and Levi Strauss, have added their names as well. The complete roster of companies follows:

Any noticeable absences? Strangely, Tesla is not among the companies to join in filing the brief. CEO Elon Musk has retained his position as a member of Trump’s business advisory council, despite condemning the ban on Twitter. Palantir, Cisco and IBM—all of which sent representatives to Trump’s Silicon Valley Summit last December—are also absent. The latter two have released statements to staff supporting diversity and openness in the wake of the ban.

The brief marks a culmination of activism among Silicon Valley companies taking action against the ban. Throughout the past week or so, many CEOs have issued internal and external statements voicing support for employees potentially affected by the order. Airbnb even aired an advertisement during the Super Bowl hinting at opposition to the ban.


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