A host of big-name tech companies including Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Microsoft have filed an amicus brief in a Washington state court opposing Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration. A total of 97 firms put their names to the document, which supports the state of Washington in its battle against what is widely considered a Muslim ban, each one stating that their “operations are affected” by the executive order.
“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,” the brief reads, indicating a philosophical objection from the signees. But they also present an economic argument, saying that the order also “inflicts significant harm on American business, innovation, and growth,” disrupting current operations, and making it “more difficult and expensive for US companies to recruit, hire, and retain some of the world’s best employees.”
As well as established tech giants, the list of companies who signed the document includes newer power players such as Netflix and Uber, as well as successes like Spotify and Kickstarter. Amazon — which has its headquarters in Washington state — is not on the list, but was one of the first companies to support the state’s lawsuit against the order. Amazon refrained from joining the latest amicus because the state’s attorney general preferred that it remain part of the original complaint.
Conspicuously absent from the list is Tesla; its CEO Elon Musk has already shown an inclination to work with Donald Trump rather than push back against his hastily drawn-up policies. Musk notably asked Twitter for advice on how to tweak the immigration order, arguing that revoking it was impossible, and attended the president’s recent economic forum.
Washington is the spearhead against the order
While several federal courts across the United States issued temporary halts on president Trump’s immigration order, it’s Washington state that has mounted the strongest legal attack on the ruling. Bob Ferguson, the state’s attorney general, has led a strong campaign against the order, calling it “unlawful and unconstitutional,” and stating that it would have detrimental effects to Washington itself.
Today’s Amicus brief shows that some of the United States’ biggest and most dynamic companies agree with Ferguson’s message. And as companies come to terms with how many of their own employees are affected by the travel ban, their support for Washington’s legislation shows a more hardline attitude than previously displayed. Indeed, by signing the brief, many of these firms are making their strongest statement yet on the Trump administration’s immigration order, and throwing their weight behind the best chance yet to have it scrapped.
Update February 6th 2016 9:15AM ET: The article has been updated with details on Amazon.