Twitter and other tech companies, including Netflix, Salesforce, Uber, Pinterest, Airbnb and AppNexus, plan to file an amicus brief tonight voicing opposition to President Trump’s executive order on immigration.
The filing, first reported by Bloomberg, follows a week of outspoken comments from tech industry leaders against the immigration order which barred refugees from entering the United States indefinitely and temporarily restricted travel to the U.S. for citizens of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan. A challenge to the president’s order has reached the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, and the companies intend to file their brief in this case.
Twitter and AppNexus confirmed their participation in the amicus brief to TechCrunch, and sources with knowledge of the filing confirmed the participation of Uber, Airbnb, Yelp, Square, Reddit, Kickstarter, Github, Mozilla, Dropbox, Twillio, Netflix, Zynga, Salesforce, Lithium, General Assembly, Pinterest, and Medium.
Executives from most of the companies involved have spoken out against the immigration ban, with Airbnb launching a Super Bowl ad campaign emphasizing inclusiveness with the hashtag #weaccept.
Several of the companies have said their employees are directly impacted by the ban, and Uber has created a $3 million legal defense fund for drivers affected by the ban. Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick was set to attend a meeting of Trump’s business advisory council on Friday, but stepped down from his post on the council Thursday evening after blowback from users and employees about his participation.
The amicus brief will highlight the contributions of immigrants to the tech economy while stressing the immigration controls already in place. The companies intend to argue that Trump’s order is discriminatory and will have a negative impact on American businesses.
“The experience and energy of people who come to our country to seek a better life for themselves and their children — to pursue the ‘American Dream’ — are woven throughout the social, political, and economic fabric of the Nation,” a draft of the amicus filing obtained by TechCrunch states. “For decades, stable U.S. immigration policy has embodied the principles that we are a people descended from immigrants, that we welcome new immigrants, and that we provide a home for refugees seeking protection. At the same time, America has long recognized the importance of protecting ourselves against those who would do us harm. But it has done so while maintaining the fundamental commitment to welcoming immigrants — through increased background checks and other controls on people seeking to enter our country.”
A final version of the brief is expected to be filed with the 9th Circuit later tonight.
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