SAN FRANCISCO – Redone or not, tech companies still oppose the Trump administration’s revised travel ban on those arriving from six predominantly Muslim countries. On Wednesday more than 150 tech companies, including Google, Facebook, Tesla and Uber, filed an amicus brief against the travel restrictions.
The revised executive order, issued March 6, would restrict for 90 days the issuance of visas to nationals from six predominantly Muslim countries — Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — and suspend for 120 days the entry to the United States by refugees.
Iraq was on the list for the executive order but was removed from the second, though Iraqi nationals may face additional scrutiny when traveling according to the second.
This week Emirates airlines announced it will reduce its flights to the United States by 20%, citing the Trump administration’s security and immigration measures.
The tech companies’ friend of the court filing says that the ban hinders the ability of American companies to attract talented employees, increases costs for business, makes it more difficult for American firms to compete in the international marketplace and, perhaps crucially, gives global companies a new, significant incentive to build operations—and hire new employees—outside the United States.
The tech companies argue that the energy immigrants bring to the United States is a key factor in the nation’s history of innovation and economic prosperity.
“People who choose to leave everything that is familiar and journey to an unknown land to make a new life necessarily are endowed with drive, creativity, determination — and just plain guts,” the brief reads.
Tech increasingly at the fore on social issues
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.
Tech companies have increasingly used them to register their thoughts on social and other issues, including immigration reform, transgender issues and the fight between Apple and the FBI over breaking the encryption on an iPhone used by a terrorist in San Bernardino.
New Trump travel ban means new, widespread opposition from tech companies – USA TODAY