In typical nerdy fashion, Silicon Valley’s leaders skipped the Big Game on Sunday to file an amicus brief against Trump’s anti-Muslim immigrant ban. The contentious piece of legislation was among the blitzkrieg of executive orders issued in Trump’s first week in office (probably to make up for lost time from Trump’s first weekend off). The ban called for denying entry to immigrants and visitors from 7 predominantly Muslim countries, although exceptions would be made for Christians. It was met with strong opposition in the streets and airports, where hundreds of thousands of Americans, including lawyers, gathered to voice support or otherwise lend a hand to those being detained.
Google and Facebook had previously weighed in on the matter, with Mark Zuckerberg issuing his own lengthy statement decrying the ban. But they’ve now been joined by 95 other tech companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter, and Uber, The Washington Post reports. The amicus brief, which has been filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, calls the ban discriminatory, and 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.”
Immigrants are estimated to make up 37 percent of Silicon Valley’s workforce. Companies like Yelp, Square, Dropbox, Lyft, Pinterest, Kickstarter, Salesforce, and Reddit, which have all backed the filing, argue that the order would hinder their ability to hire talented workers from abroad. “The problems that render the Executive Order harmful to businesses and their employees also make it unlawful,” they stated in their brief. They also reminded the courts of how immigration is “intimately tied” to economic growth in this country. The court will rule later this week on an appeal from the Trump administration, following a federal judge in Seattle’s decision to put a hold on the ban.