Saturday 21 October 2017

Tech giants including Apple and Google fight Trump travel ban

Apple is one of several major companies joining the fight against the ban
Apple is one of several major companies joining the fight against the ban

Technology giants including Apple, Google and Facebook have sided with Washington state and Minnesota as they fight President Donald Trump's ban on refugees and travellers from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the US.

The companies filed legal papers late on Sunday with a federal appellate court saying Mr Trump's executive order hurts their businesses.

In their court filing with the San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, a total of 97 firms said Mr Trump's travel ban "hinders the ability of American companies to attract great talent; increases costs imposed on business; makes it more difficult for American firms to compete in the international marketplace".

The travel ban would prompt businesses to build operations outside the United States, said the companies.

The long list of enterprises looking to join the fight against Mr Trump are among the country's biggest, most high-profile businesses such as Uber, eBay and Netflix.

The businesses are looking to help Washington and Minnesota as they sue Mr Trump.

The states have said the ban harms residents and effectively mandates discrimination. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals this weekend denied the administration's request to immediately set aside a Seattle judge's ruling which put a hold on the ban nationwide.

Mr Trump's order applied to Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen - countries which the administration said raise terrorism concerns. The order sparked nationwide airport protests and caused confusion for many foreigners trying to reach the United States.

Mr Trump said he is trying to protect Americans, while the US government said the president has the authority to decide who can enter the country.

However the companies, in their court filing, said Mr Trump's executive order would destroy the entrepreneurial spirit that fuels American businesses.

"Immigrants make many of the nation's greatest discoveries, and create some of the country's most innovative and iconic companies," the court filing said.

"The experience and energy of people who come to our country to seek a better life for themselves and their children to pursue the 'American Dream' are woven throughout the social, political, and economic fabric of the nation."

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