© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Nearly 100 Tech Firms Ask Federal Court To Block Trump's Travel Ban

Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are among 97 tech companies that filed court papers supporting a challenge to President Trump's ban on immigration from seven majority-Muslim nations, calling the executive order unlawful, discriminatory and arbitrary and saying that it would hurt their businesses.

Trump's executive order enacting the ban "has had immediate, adverse effects on the employees of American businesses," the companies say, warning that the ban also poses long-term risks.

The companies' amicus filing comes as a federal court weighs whether to reinstate the ban, which was blocked by a temporary restraining order on Friday in response to a lawsuit filed by Washington state.

More arguments will be considered Monday — and Exhibit A in the state's case is a letter in which former Secretary of State John Kerry, former CIA Director Michael Hayden, and eight other former leaders in U.S. diplomatic and security services say Trump's ban hurts, rather than helps, U.S. interests.

The problems the tech companies lists range from problems recruiting international talents to an inability to plan actions that could be hampered by future similar bans on other countries.

"Immigrants are innovators," the filing states. "Since 2000, more than one-third of all American Nobel prize winners in Chemistry, Medicine, and Physics have been immigrants."

The countries covered by the Jan. 27 ban are Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Syria. But, the companies say in their filing, "The Order itself promises to ban individuals from additional countries if those nations do not provide information the Secretary of State deems necessary to approve visas."

Another concern, the companies say, is that the seven banned nations and/or other countries might retaliate — either by imposing their own travel bans on Americans or by punishing U.S. businesses.

"Indeed, U.S. diplomats already are reporting that General Electric may lose out on business deals in Iraq potentially worth billions of dollars," the filing states. "Additional actions against American citizens or business will have a further ripple effect."

In addition to the businesses' filing, rights groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center have also filed briefings in support of Washington and other states challenging the ban.

While tech companies dominate the list of those involved in the filing, other firms — such as yogurt maker Chobani, eyewear retailer Warby Parker, and clothier Levi Strauss — also signed the amicus briefing.

Here's the list:

  • AdRoll, Inc.
  • Aeris Communications, Inc.
  • Airbnb, Inc.
  • AltSchool, PBC
  • Ancestry.com, LLC
  • Appboy, Inc.
  • Apple Inc.
  • AppNexus Inc.
  • Asana, Inc.
  • Atlassian Corp Plc
  • Autodesk, Inc.
  • Automattic Inc.
  • Box, Inc.
  • Brightcove Inc.
  • Brit + Co
  • CareZone Inc.
  • Castlight Health
  • Checkr, Inc.
  • Chobani, LLC
  • Citrix Systems, Inc.
  • Cloudera, Inc.
  • Cloudflare, Inc.
  • Copia Institute
  • DocuSign, Inc.
  • DoorDash, Inc.
  • Dropbox, Inc.
  • Dynatrace LLC
  • eBay Inc.
  • Engine Advocacy
  • Etsy Inc.
  • Facebook, Inc.
  • Fastly, Inc.
  • Flipboard, Inc.
  • Foursquare Labs, Inc.
  • Fuze, Inc.
  • General Assembly
  • GitHub
  • Glassdoor, Inc.
  • Google Inc.
  • GoPro, Inc.
  • Harmonic Inc.
  • Hipmunk, Inc.
  • Indiegogo, Inc.
  • Intel Corporation
  • JAND, Inc. d/b/a Warby Parker
  • Kargo Global, Inc.
  • Kickstarter, PBC
  • Knotel
  • Levi Strauss & Co.
  • LinkedIn Corporation
  • Lithium Technologies, Inc.
  • Lyft, Inc.
  • Mapbox, Inc.
  • Maplebear Inc. d/b/a Instacart
  • Marin Software Incorporated
  • Medallia, Inc.
  • A Medium Corporation
  • Meetup, Inc.
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Motivate International Inc.
  • Mozilla Corporation
  • Netflix, Inc.
  • NETGEAR, Inc.
  • NewsCred, Inc.
  • Patreon, Inc.
  • PayPal Holdings, Inc.
  • Pinterest, Inc.
  • Quora, Inc.
  • Reddit, Inc.
  • Rocket Fuel Inc.
  • SaaStr Inc.
  • Salesforce.com, Inc.
  • Scopely, Inc.
  • Shutterstock, Inc.
  • Snap Inc.
  • Spokeo, Inc.
  • Spotify USA Inc.
  • Square, Inc.
  • Squarespace, Inc.
  • Strava, Inc.
  • Stripe, Inc.
  • SurveyMonkey Inc.
  • TaskRabbit, Inc
  • Tech:NYC
  • Thumbtack, Inc.
  • Turn Inc.
  • Twilio Inc.
  • Twitter Inc.
  • Turn Inc.
  • Uber Technologies, Inc.
  • Via
  • Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
  • Workday
  • Y Combinator Management, LLC
  • Yelp Inc.
  • Zynga Inc
  • Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.
    KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
    Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.