Trump's travel ban is 'unlawful,' tech giants tell court
Nearly 100 businesses have jointly signed a legal brief that argues the immigrant restriction will harm the US economy.
Katie CollinsSenior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
The timing of the filing is significant. The Trump administration and the ban's opponents have until Monday to provide legal arguments for and against the ban after it was blocked by a temporary restraining order issued by a federal judge in Seattle on Friday. The judge's ruling means that key parts of the travel ban cannot currently be implemented nationwide.
The technology companies' amicus brief, which is a legal document filed by an interested third party, declares the executive order to be "unlawful." The companies filed it to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.
Over the weekend, Trump appealed to the circuit court, seeking an end to the legal obstruction to the ban. But the court upheld the Seattle judge's decision temporarily, saying it would evaluate matters further after it gathered more information.
The court will consider the tech companies' brief as it considers Trump's plea to end further legal action.
Why tech objects
The tech companies' 18-page argument centers on the premise that America is "a nation of immigrants." The filing says, "The Order represents 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."
As well as objecting to the ban as a matter of principle, the companies outlined in detail the economic ramifications of enforcing the executive order.
The ban prevents tech companies from attracting talent, increases business costs and makes competing in the global marketplace more difficult, the companies said in the filing. It also gives them incentive to build new operations and hire more employees outside the US, the companies said.
That final point may hit a nerve with Trump, who made a point during his election campaign to promise that American companies -- including those in Silicon Valley -- would move more of their operations into the country and create more jobs for US citizens. Last year, he criticized Apple for manufacturing many of its products abroad, and last week he tweeted he would happily welcome Samsung into the US.