Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google and more rally against Trump’s travel ban
President Trump is facing even more opposition from Silicon Valley as Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Uber and 91 other tech companies filed a legal brief opposing the Trump administration’s travel ban. Filed on Sunday night – presumably once all that Super Bowl nonsense was out of the way – the brief stands as a firm sign that Silicon Valley and America’s powerful technology industry will not blindly support all of the new president’s policies.
Trump’s travel ban against Syrian refugees and those flying in from seven predominantly muslim countries has drawn much criticism around the world. Protests have broken out across the US and even those within America’s own legal system has deemed it unconstitutional. Silicon Valley’s brief has been filed with the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which is expected to rule within a few days on an appeal by Trump’s administration after a federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order on the travel ban.
Alongside Silicon Valley’s heavy hitters, other prominent US tech companies have co-signed the filing, including the likes of Reddit, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Github and Salesforce to name a few. Interestingly, Amazon isn’t listed as being involved with the filing despite CEO Jeff Bezos’ claims that the company is going to fight Trumps travel ban with all its legal might. Presumably this is because it has been taking its own actions, rather than becoming involved in multiple filings.
A draft version of the filing, which The Washington Post managed to obtain on Sunday evening, claims that the Trump administration’s ban is discriminatory.
“The Order effects a sudden, seismic shift in the rules governing entry into the United States, and it departs dramatically from the principles that have governed our immigration law for decades,” states the draft. “The Order discriminates on the basis of national origin and religion. It closes our borders to the world’s most vulnerable people, such as those fleeing the devastation of war. And it establishes discretionary and arbitrary rules for admission to this country, even by immigrants who have lived here lawfully for years”.
According Joint Venture, around 37% of its the huge American tech industry is foreign-born. Many of the CEOs and notable people involved in SIlicon Valley are children of immigrants, making Trump’s travel ban not just a concern for the industry’s stability, but also a personal attack on the individuals involved within it.
“Long-term, this instability [caused by the executive order] will make it far more difficult and expensive for U.S. companies to hire the world’s best talent—and impede them from competing in the global marketplace,” the brief continues after pointing out that more than 200 companies on the Fortune 500 list are founded by immigrants or children of immigrants.
Ultimately, the brief concludes that “The Court should hold the Executive Order unlawful.” We’ll have to wait and see until later this week for the outcome, but it’s clear America’s tech sector isn’t behind this new breed of US leadership.