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6 Feb, 2017 10:13

Almost 100 US firms, including Apple & Google, lean on Trump travel ban in court

Almost 100 US firms, including Apple & Google, lean on Trump travel ban in court

Nearly 100 American firms, including tech giants Apple, Google and Microsoft, have filed a legal brief supporting a case challenging the so-called ‘Muslim ban’, saying the White House’s restriction “is inflicting substantial harm on US companies.”

The ‘amicus curiae’ brief, which was filed with the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco on Sunday, supports a lawsuit brought by several US States to challenge President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning citizens of seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the country.

The 97 companies backing the brief include tech heavyweights such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Twitter, eBay, Netflix, and Uber, and also non-tech companies, including Levi Strauss and Chobani.

They argue that the executive order, which has been dubbed a “Muslim ban” by critics, hurts the American economy.

“The Order represents a significant departure from the principles of fairness and predictability that have governed the immigration system of the United States for more than fifty years—and the Order inflicts significant harm on American business, innovation, and growth as a result,” the brief says.

“The Order makes it more difficult and expensive for US companies to recruit, hire, and retain some of the world’s best employees. It disrupts ongoing business operations. And it threatens companies’ ability to attract talent, business, and investment to the United States,” it argues.

The document also highlights the role of immigrants and their children as innovators in America and questions the lawfulness of the ban.

The US tech sector has been amongst the most vocal in criticizing the executive order since it was signed by President Trump in December. The controversial move was blocked nationwide by a federal judge last week, angering the White House. The Trump administration unsuccessfully tried to overturn the block over the weekend and has until Monday to present arguments to try to convince the Court of Appeals to lift it.

Later on Monday, Elon Musk’s Tesla and SpaceX joined the brief as well, Reuters reported. The companies’ CEO has also used his position on the president’s economic advisory council to raise his opposition to the executive order. Although immigration wasn’t slated to be on the meeting’s agenda, Musk made sure it was the first topic discussed, he tweeted on Saturday.