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Supreme Court upholds Trump travel ban: Tech companies weigh in

Executives from Microsoft, Airbnb and Lyft expressed disappointment with the ruling.

The US Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump's ban on travel from Muslim countries.  
Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld President Donald Trump's ban on travel from predominantly Muslim countries -- a policy that stirred the emotions of the tech industry. 

In what would be one of the first of Trump's many controversial moves, the president, shortly after taking office, signed an executive order that temporarily halted immigration and limited travel from seven nations. The move quickly elicited a reaction from tech companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft, which derided it as "un-American." More than 100 companies opposed the original ban. 

Even after Trump revised the policy, tech companies still stood against it

Their actions underscore the growing influence of the tech industry not just with new gizmos and software, but as a political force helping to shape our policies. While companies have long sought to sway the government on business policies like net neutrality and trade agreements, they've increasingly taken on more social issues as well. The ruling comes just a week after the tech industry weighed in on the divisive immigration policy to separate undocumented immigrant children from their parents after crossing the US border. 

Trump had downplayed the controversy over the immigration ban, and on Tuesday celebrated the Supreme Court win. "SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS TRUMP TRAVEL BAN. Wow!" he tweeted. 

Tech companies were disappointed. Here's a collection of their reactions:


Co-founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk: "We are profoundly disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the travel ban -- a policy that goes against our mission and values. To restrict travel based on a person's nationality or religion is wrong. We believe that travel is a transformative and powerful experience, and we will continue to open doors and build bridges between cultures around the world."


Co-founder and President John Zimmer tweeted: "We will continue helping immigrants & those seeking asylum in this great country - we're doubling down on Lyft Relief Rides, to provide transportation access to 50 organizations that support our diverse community of drivers, passengers, employees and their families."

Co-founder and CEO Logan Green likewise tweeted the same message. 


Microsoft President Brad Smith also expressed disappointment with the decision, but said the company would continue to support the legal rights of its employees and their families. 


Denelle Dixon, COO of the company behind the Firefox web browser, said Mozilla was deeply disappointed by the ruling.

"The internet is built, maintained, and governed through a myriad of global civil society, private sector, government, academic, and developer communities," Dixon wrote in a blog post. "Travel across borders is central for their cooperation and exchange of ideas and information. It is also necessary for a global workforce that reflects the diversity of the internet itself."

First published June 26, 1:48 p.m. PT
Update, 5:18 p.m.: Adds Mozilla's reaction.

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