Jessica Fino 6 Feb 2017 02:39pm

Tech companies file lawsuit against Trump's travel ban

Almost 100 technology companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Airbnb and Microsoft, have filed a legal action against US president Donald Trump’s travel ban

A total of 97 companies submitted an amicus brief, a legal document filed in court cases by non-litigants with a strong interest in the subject matter, to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals over the president’s ban on migrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The brief argued that Trump’s executive order was “unlawful” because discriminated on the basis of nationality.

It also claimed that the order harmed the competitiveness of US companies, arguing that American innovation and economic growth was “intimately tied to immigration”.

It said, “Immigrants make many of the nation’s greatest discoveries and create some of the country’s most innovative and iconic companies.”

The executive order represented a “significant departure from the principles of fairness and predictability that have governed the immigration system of the US for more than 50 years”, inflicting “significant harm” on American business, innovation and growth as a result, the brief argued.

It added, “The order makes it more difficult and expensive for US companies to recruit, hire and retain some of the world’s best employees. It disrupts business operations, and it threatens companies’ ability to attract talent, business and investment to the US.”

Of the 97 tech companies bringing the lawsuit against the US president, Amazon was not included on the list. This was despite Jeff Bezos, its chief executive, previously pledging to help fight the travel ban.

The executive order, signed by Trump one week ago, included a 90-day ban to nationals from Syria, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan from entering the US, a 120-day refugee suspension and a potential expansion of entry ban of individuals from any country.

On Friday, a federal judge in Seattle blocked the travel ban. Following the decision Trump tweeted, “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”

On Saturday, a federal appeals court rejected the Trump administration’s request to reinstate the ban.

The president said on Twitter, “Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”

He also said that he had instructed Homeland Security to check people coming into the US “very carefully”, and the courts were making the job “very difficult”.

Last week, Travis Kalanick, Uber’s chief executive, told his staff he was quitting Trump’s economic advisory council.