Wednesday, February 8, 2017
127 companies file briefs against #OyVeyDonaldTrump's Travel Ban and Immigration Policyincluding titan Giants Apple, Google, Amazon, Linkedin,Intel.Microsoft , Paypal......
President Donald Trump says those against his travel ban are putting the country in danger. About 100 technology giants, including Microsoft , Google , Facebook and Apple , have signed onto a legal action against the ban. Newslook
(Photo: Joe Raedle, Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO —Nearly three dozen more tech companies late Monday joined a court brief against President Trump's executive order on immigration, swelling the ranks of those seeking a hold on the refugee ban to 127.
Newcomers included Tesla and SpaceX, joining tech heavyweights Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, and a list of both start-ups and more established Silicon Valley stalwarts.
The amicus brief, filed Sunday evening in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, began with 96 companies, though initial reports were 97, as one company was listed twice.
Monday afternoon those 96 mostly tech companies were joined by 31 more when an addendum was filed.
The brief lauded the drive and creativity of the USA's immigrants and said that while protecting the nation through increased background checks was important, maintaining America's fundamental commitment to welcoming immigrants was also critical.
"The beneficiaries are not just the new immigrants who chose to come to our shores, but American businesses, workers, and consumers, who gain immense advantages from immigrants’ infusion of talents, energy, and opportunity," the case states.
The brief is in support of a lawsuit filed in federal court last Monday by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson that asked that key provisions of the executive order be declared unconstitutional.
Trump's order, signed a week after he took office, halted entry of all refugees for 120 days, banned admission of refugees from Syria indefinitely, and barred entry for three months of citizens from seven predominantly Muslim nations.
In response to that suit, Senior Judge James Robart of U.S. District Court in Seattle on Friday issued a nationwide restraining order on the immigration order. On Sunday, the 9th Circuit appeals court, considered the nation's most liberal, declined to reinstate the restrictions.
Trump has sharply criticized the court decisions, and his Administration says the ban is necessary to weed out immigrants with intentions of terrorism. Late Monday, Justice Department officials urged the appeals court judge to reinstate the ban on grounds that not doing so endangered national security
Eventually, the Supreme Court may decide. Courts do take note of who files friends-of-the-court briefs.
Tech firms have complained that Trump's order has created havoc in an industry that is global and has a large number of foreign-born engineers in others working in the U.S. and abroad. Google has said nearly 200 of its staff would be impacted by the ban, while Microsoft said it would affect more than 75.
The list of companies that signed the amicus brief include mostly West Coast tech companies, including Adobe, Airbnb, Box, Dropbox, Etsy, Github, Glassdoor, HP Inc., Kickstarter, LinkedIn, Medium, Mozilla, Netflix, Pandora, Pinterest, Reddit, Salesforce, Slack, Square, Twilo, Yelp and Zynga.
A few non-tech companies also signed, including yogurt company Chobani, snack maker KIND and Levi Strauss & Co.
Uber, whose CEO Travis Kalanick resigned from a Trump advisory council late last week after the ride-hailing company came under pressure from both customers and drivers, signed the brief.
SpaceX and Teslacompanies run by Elon Musk, were among the second-day additions to the list. Musk stayed on the advisory council, despite some backlash from others in the tech industry, saying it was the best chance to influence the administration to make changes to an order he has conceded treats some immigrants unfairly.
The brief marks one of a few recent moments in which the industry has come together around specific issues.
In 2013, more than 20 tech leaders helped create FWD.us, an organization pushing for immigration reform. In 2014, nearly 150 Internet companies sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission supporting net neutrality. And in 2016, many technology companies issued statements supporting Apple in its struggle with the FBI over breaking the encryption on an iPhone used by a terrorist in San Bernardino.
President Donald Trump used his preferred platform to criticize the judge who blocked his administration's travel ban on immigrants. Video provided by Newsy Newslook
"The Order effects a sudden shift in the rules governing entry into the United States, and is inflicting substantial harm on U.S. companies," the brief states. "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 marketplace; and gives global enterprises a new, significant incentive to build operations—and hire new employees—outside the United States."
In the filing, the companies note that immigrants or their children founded more than 200 of the Fortune 500 — companies that include Apple, Kraft, Ford, General Electric, AT&T, Google, McDonald’s, Boeing, and Disney. Immigrants also make up 28% of Main Street business owners — and 18% of business owners nationwide — as well as 16% of the U.S. labor force, they say. "Immigrants do not take jobs away from U.S. citizens — they create them," the filing states.
A large group of lawyers from tech companies met last Tuesday to discuss possible actions they might collectively take to fight the executive order. The amicus brief appears to be the fruit of that meeting.
There was no immediate response from the administration. On Saturday, President Trump tweeted, "I have instructed Homeland Security to check people coming into our country VERY CAREFULLY. The courts are making the job very difficult!"
Friend of the court briefs often influential
Amicus briefs allow interested parties to give the court their own take on the issues involved, without actually being a part of the case. There are few limits on who can submit them and especially contentious or important cases can have dozens arguing of briefs submitted on each side, said Martin Flaherty, a professor of constitutional law at Fordham Law School in New York City.
It’s not uncommon for parties with an interest (called “amici,” or “friends” in Latin) to come together to either divvy up what their briefs will cover or work together to craft a single brief as happened in the tech group’s case, Flaherty said.
While all such briefs are equal before the law, courts often take note of who is filing them.
An example Flaherty gave was a Michigan affirmative action case that went to the Supreme Court in 2003. An influential amicus filing came from a group of retired military leaders who argued that affirmative action was crucial for the nation’s military academies as it would be bad for the schools and the military as a whole were the officer corps not to reflect the diversity of the military as a whole.
“I would think that perhaps for certain justices, the fact that all these tech companies are saying this would be terrible for the country is important,” Flaherty said.The travel ban has been put on hold by a federal appeals court. On Sunday and Monday, 127 companies signed a motion supporting the suit brought by the attorneys general of Minnesota and Washington state. Almost all are tech companies.
Filed on Monday:
Brocade Communications Systems
Managed By Q
Filed on Sunday:
Brit + Co
Jand, Inc. doing business as Warby Parker
Levi Strauss & Co.
Maplebear Inc. d/b/a Instacart
A Medium Corporation
Y Combinator Management
In addition, Amazon and Expedia both filed motions earlier in the case seeking to overturn the travel ban, although they were not named in the motion filed Sunday night.
CNNMoney (New York)