When President Donald Trump issued the first executive order banning the entry of people from six Muslim countries in January, more than a hundred technology companies including Apple, Google, and Facebook came forward to fight the ban. As Trump is out with his second travel ban, these giants have decided not to back a lawsuit seeking to block the new executive order, reports Reuters.
Have they taken a favorable view of the revised travel ban?
On Tuesday, a legal brief was filed in the federal court in Hawaii by Silicon Valley companies. The brief listed the support of only 57 firms. By comparison, a total of 127 technologies companies had signed the previous legal brief filed last month in an attempt to block the first ban. The companies that signed the new brief include Dropbox, Airbnb, Flipboard, Kickstarter, and Lyft.
The technology heavyweights that signed the first brief, but chose not to back the latest one include Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Intel, Twitter, Netflix, and eBay. It does not necessarily mean they have taken a favorable view of the new ban. Robert Atkins, the co-author of the brief, told Reuters that there is still time for these tech giants to join the effort. Atkins expects the group to expand in coming days.
‘Unprecedented judicial overreach’
Trump’s second ban was supposed to go into effect on Thursday. But District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii ordered an emergency halt to the executive order on Wednesday, though the halt is temporary. The revised travel ban aims to temporarily block the entry of travelers and refugees from select Muslim majority countries. Derrick Watson said the executive order discriminates on the basis of nationality and religion. It could also harm the US tourism industry in the long run.
President Trump has argued that the travel ban was necessary for the US national security. The revised executive order has eased some concerns about violating the rights of travelers, and focuses more on the thesis of national security. Trump called District Judge Derrick Watson’s ruling an “unprecedented judicial overreach” and vowed to fight back. He promised during a rally that he would drag the case to the Supreme Court if needed.
Travel ban would cause ‘irreparable harm’ to the US businesses
Silicon Valley technology companies rely heavily on skilled workers from other countries. Tech companies backing the lawsuit against Trump’s travel ban argue that the new ban is no different from the previous one. It will cause “irreparable harm” to the American companies and their employees. The legal brief highlights the importance of immigrants in the US technology community.
They pointed out that immigrants or their children have founded 40% of the Fortune 500 companies. These businesses collectively generate $4.25 trillion in annual revenues and provide jobs to more than 10 million people.