Uber, Twitter, Netflix to call travel ban ‘unlawful’

By Elizabeth Dwoskin

The Washington Post

Silicon Valley is stepping up its confrontation with the Trump administration.

On Sunday night, Uber, Twitter, Netflix and other prominent tech companies are planning to file legal brief opposing the administration’s contentious travel ban on immigrants, according to people familiar with the matter.

The amicus brief is expected to be filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is expected to rule within a few days on an appeal by the administration after a federal judge in Seattle issued late Friday a temporary restraining order putting the travel ban on hold. The brief comes at the end of a week of nationwide protests against the plan – as well as a flurry of activity in Silicon Valley, a region that sees immigration as central to its identity as an innovation hub.

Companies backing the filing also include Pinterest, Yelp, Square, Reddit, Kickstarter, Github, Glassdoor, Box, Mozilla, Dropbox, Twilio, Zynga, Medium, Pinterest, and Salesforce, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the filing was still being finalized Sunday.

Notably, it doesn’t appear that Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google or Facebook are party to the brief. The sources cautioned the wording of the brief – and the participants – could still change before the filing is made Sunday night.

A draft of the filing says that the travel ban, which barred individuals from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S. for at least 90 days and suspended the U.S. refugee program, is discriminatory.

‘The Order effects a sudden, seismic shift in the rules governing entry into the United States, and it departs dramatically from the principles that have governed our immigration law for decades,” a draft obtained by The Washington Post reads. “The Order discriminates on the basis of national origin and religion. It closes our borders to the world’s most vulnerable people, such as those fleeing the devastation of war. And it establishes discretionary and arbitrary rules for admission to this country, even by immigrants who have lived here lawfully for years.”

The legal briefing argues that immigration and economic growth are “intimately tied,” and that the order would damage the U.S.’s ability to attract the world’s talent.

“Immigrants or their children founded more than 200 of the companies on the Fortune 500 list, including Apple, Kraft, Ford, General Electric, AT&T, Google, McDonald’s, Boeing, and Disney, ” it said. The briefing also notes prominent immigrant and refugee writers, scholars, and Nobel Laureates.

” Long-term, thisinstability [caused by the executive order] will make it far more difficult and expensive for U.S. companies to hire the world’s best talent-and impede them from competing in the global marketplace,” it says.

“The Court should hold the Executive Order unlawful,” the draft concludes.

An estimated 37 percent of the workforce in Silicon Valley is foreign born, according to the think tank Joint Venture.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

County staff urges ‘no’ on Point Wells development proposal

County Hearing Examiner Peter Camp could decide the fate of the high-rise project this summer.

SpaceX captures the flag, beating Boeing in cosmic contest

Elon Musk’s company is the first private firm to launch a crew to the International Space Station.

Alderwood mall is ready for the governor’s green light

The Lynnwood shopping center, closed since March 24, could reopen in June. But expect changes.

Snohomish County seeks to enter second phase of reopening

The variance request will go to the state if approved by the Board of Health and the County Council.

Firm accused of violating eviction ban agrees to restitution

About 1,450 tenants, including some in Marysville, will receive rent refunds or direct payments.

Texan comes to defend Snohomish outlaw barber cutting hair

Bob Martin is defying orders to close. The man he calls his attorney didn’t go to law school.

Hundreds of masked guests line up as Tulalip casinos reopen

Tulalip Resort Casino and Quil Ceda Creek opened the doors on Tuesday after a two-month closure.

Boeing workers cope with the virus threat as layoffs loom

Five weeks after they returned to work, Boeing workers say measures inside the plants are mostly working.

Boeing cutting more than 12,000 jobs with layoffs, buyouts

The company said it will lay off 6,770 workers this week, and another 5,520 are taking buyouts.

Worst jobless rate in the state: Snohomish County at 20.2%

In April, 91,383 were unemployed in the county. The aerospace sector was hit especially hard.

Small business relief effort inundated with 850 applications

The economy in and around Everett has struggled amid fallen revenues and uncertainty about the future.

‘Hundreds of millions’ in bogus jobless benefits paid out

Washington state has been reported as the top target of a Nigerian fraud ring.