Nearly 100 Tech Companies Have Filed a Legal Brief Opposing Trump’s Immigration Ban

Facebook, Apple and Google are all weighing in

The brief expresses concern over the constitutionality of the ban.
Getty Images

In a strong sign of opposition against President Donald Trump’s ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, nearly 100 tech companies including giants like Apple and Facebook have filed an amicus brief expressing their concerns with the executive order Trump signed late last month.

The brief, filed on Sunday in a Washington State court, argues that the U.S. “proudly describes itself as ‘a nation of immigrants,’ citing that nearly all of the parties that have signed the brief “trace our lineage to another country.”

The brief expresses concern over the constitutionality of the ban, explaining that while the executive order creates a system for “case-by-case” exceptions, it doesn’t include any criteria for those exceptions. (Several federal courts have issued stays on the immigration ban, however Washington’s is considered to be one of the strongest rebukes challenging the president’s power.)

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,” according to the brief. “The Order makes it more difficult and expensive for U.S. 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.”

In addition to Apple and Facebook, the amicus brief is signed by dozens of other familiar brands—companies including Airbnb, Google, Dropbox, eBay, Twitter and Squarespace. There are a few big names that have not added theirs to the list of 97, including Tesla, IBM and Amazon. (As TechCrunch points out, some of the companies that did not sign the brief are those that have met with Trump since his inauguration last month.) Uber—whose CEO Travis Kalanick has faced criticism for expressing a willingness to work with Trump–is on the list.

In addition to the brief, individual tech companies have found their own ways to express their opposition to the ban. Late last month, Lyft announced plans to donate $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union over the next four years to “defend our constitution,” and last night Airbnb ran a Super Bowl ad supporting American diversity, along with promoting the hashtag “WeAccept.” (According to data collected by Amobee Brand Intelligence, Airbnb received the most tweets during the first half.)

In a blog post on Sunday, Airbnb explained its campaign, citing support for refugees and immigrants fleeing disaster areas around the world.

People who’ve been displaced, whether because of war or conflict or other factors, are acutely vulnerable to not being accepted,” wrote Airbnb’s founders. “They are, quite literally, in need of a place to belong, which is why we’ve been inspired to take action.”