The onslaught targeting President Trump's immigration executive order continued overnight, when virtually all US tech corporations, from Apple to Zynga, including Twitter, Netflix, Google, and Microsoft, banded together late on Sunday to file an "impassioned" brief condemning Trump's temporary immigration ban, arguing that it "inflicts significant harm on American business."
Trump meeting with tech CEOs
The amicus brief emphasizes the importance of immigrants in the economy and society. The companies originally planned to file the brief later this coming week, but accelerated efforts over the weekend after other legal challenges to the order. Participating companies in the brief, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, include Airbnb, eBay, Facebook, Google, Intel, Netflix, Snap and Uber. Companies beyond technology signed on as well, including Levi Strauss & Co. and yogurt maker Chobani LLC. In all, some 97 firms signed onto the brief.
"Immigrants make many of the Nation’s greatest discoveries, and create some of the country’s most innovative and iconic companies," the brief states. “America has long recognized the importance of protecting ourselves against those who would do us harm. But it has done so while maintaining our fundamental commitment to welcoming immigrants—through increased background checks and other controls on people seeking to enter our country.”
Following a dramatic weekend, in which a Washington judged blocked Trump's travel ban nationwide, and the subsequent DOJ complaint was rejected by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, Trump's temporary immigration ban faces crucial legal hurdles, but the court said it would reconsider the government's request after receiving more information. Trump's administration has a deadline on Monday to justify the executive order temporarily barring immigrants from seven mostly Muslim countries and the entry of refugees, after a federal judge in Seattle blocked it with a temporary restraining order on Friday.
"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," the brief stated. "The Order inflicts significant harm on American business, innovation, and growth as a result," it added.
"Immigrants or their children founded more than 200 of the companies on the Fortune 500 list."
U.S. tech firms have been among the more vocal sectors speaking out against the policy, with many of its staff made up of foreign-born nationals. In addition to the amicus bried, several large tech companies, including Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc., are planning to sign an open letter to President Trump expressing concern about the immigration order and offering help fixing it and other policies.
As the fallout from Trump's exec order spread, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick stepped down from Trump’s business advisory council last week after criticism from customers and drivers. His participation in the council, along with more than a dozen other U.S. executives, prompted blow-back on social media after the controversial executive order on immigration. It snowballed into a #DeleteUber campaign that benefited rival Lyft.
“Immigration and openness to refugees is an important part of our country’s success and quite honestly to Uber’s,” Kalanick wrote in an e-mail to employees obtained by Bloomberg. “There are many ways we will continue to advocate for just change on immigration but staying on the council was going to get in the way of that. The executive order is hurting many people in communities all across America.”
Meanwhile, as Trump gets mired in litigation involving his executive orders, and focusing on deregulation, there continues to be virtually no further clarity on either Trump's economic policies or how they will be implemented, which over the weekend prompted Goldman to substantially sour on the likelihood of Trump being successful to provide a major economic boost in the near-term, and certainly not until mid-2018. Goldman also predicted that it is now virtually assured that the border adjustment tax will not make it into Trump's tax reform, removing a major pillar of support behind the rising dollar.