US tech giants file legal action over Trump's travel ban

US tech giants file legal action over Trump's travel ban
Nearly 100 of America's top tech companies like Apple, Google and Facebook have joined the court battle against President Donlad Trump's controversial immigration restrictions, warning the move would hurt their businesses and violate both immigration law and the US Constitution.

In a filing to a federal appeals court on Sunday, the companies argued that Trump's temporary ban on all visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries would hurt their businesses and violate both immigration law and the United States Constitution. A lower court on Friday temporarily halted crucial parts of the ban, but the Trump administration has said it would fight to have them reinstated.

"The tremendous impact of immigrants on America — and on American business — is not happenstance," the companies said in a friend-of-the-court filing. "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 New York Times quoted the filing as saying.

"The energy they bring to America," it said, "is a key reason why the American economy has been the greatest engine of prosperity and innovation in history." The issue is set to be considered this week by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, here.

In addition to Apple, Facebook and Google, major technology names that signed the brief included Microsoft, Uber, Twitter, Airbnb, Intel and Snap, the parent of Snapchat.

A few names from outside the technology field, like Levi Strauss, the jeans maker, and Chobani, a yogurt company, also signed the brief. Separately, a group of prominent Democrats also protested the ban in a court filing.

It is not the first legal move by tech firms over Trump's ban. Amazon and Expedia filed motions last week in the Washington attorney general's lawsuit. They argued the immigration order will hurt their employees and their businesses. An estimated 37 per cent of the workforce in Silicon Valley is foreign born, according to a report by the think tank Joint Venture.

The temporary travel ban which affects seven Muslim-majority countries that include Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen has been a highly controversial move by the new Republican President causing widespread protests around the world.

The filing is likely to fray already tense relations between Trump and the technology industry. Its most prominent figures largely backed Trump's Democratic Party rival, Hillary Clinton, in last year's election campaign.
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