Microsoft among 97 tech companies legally opposing Trump's travel ban

Microsoft and nearly 100 other tech companies — ranging from Google and Facebook to Apple and Twitter — have filed an amicus brief (via The Verge) expressing opposition to the Trump administration's recent executive order on immigration. Along with arguing that the executive order is unlawful, the brief also places an emphasis on the many contributions immigrants make to American society, and how the travel ban will ultimately hurt businesses.

From the brief:

Immigrants make many of the Nation's greatest discoveries, and create some of the country's most innovative and iconic companies. America has long recognized the importance of protecting ourselves against those who would do us harm. But it has done so while maintaining our fundamental commitment to welcoming immigrants—through increased background checks and other controls on people seeking to enter our country.The tremendous impact of immigrants on America—and on American business—is not happenstance. People who choose to leave everything that is familiar and journey to an unknown land to make a new life necessarily are endowed with drive, creativity, determination—and just plain guts. The energy they bring to America is a key reason why the American economy has been the greatest engine of prosperity and innovation in history.The Executive Order abandons those principles—and inflicts significant harm on American business, innovation, and growth as a result. The Order makes it more difficult and expensive for U.S. companies to recruit, hire, and retain some of the world's best employees. It disrupts ongoing business operations. And it threatens companies' ability to attract talent, business, and investment to the United States.

The travel ban has been contentious to say the least, and Microsoft has expressed its opposition on multiple occasions thus far. Just last week, Microsoft also sent a letter to the Trump administration asking for exceptions for some 76 of its employees and their families who are negatively impacted by the executive order.

The executive order itself, it is seeing strong legal opposition, particularly in Washington state. A federal judge in Seattle was even responsible for a recent temporary block on the ban.

If you're curious, here's a look at all of the companies that have signed on to the brief:

  • AdRoll
  • Aeris Communications
  • Airbnb
  • AltSchool
  • Ancestry.com
  • Appboy
  • Apple
  • AppNexus
  • Asana
  • Atlassian
  • Autodesk
  • Automattic
  • Box
  • Brightcove
  • Brit + Co
  • CareZone
  • Castlight Health
  • Checkr
  • Chobani
  • Citrix Systems
  • Cloudera
  • Cloudflare
  • Copia Institute
  • DocuSign
  • DoorDash
  • Dropbox
  • Dynatrace
  • eBay
  • Engine Advocacy
  • Etsy
  • Facebook
  • Fastly
  • Flipboard
  • Foursquare
  • Fuze
  • General Assembly
  • GitHub
  • Glassdoor
  • Google
  • GoPro
  • Harmonic
  • Hipmunk
  • Indigogo
  • Intel
  • JAND d/b/a Warby Parker
  • Kargo
  • Kickstarter
  • KIND
  • Knotel
  • Levi Strauss & Co.
  • LinkedIn
  • Lithium Technologies
  • Lyft
  • Mapbox
  • Maplebear d/b/a Instacart
  • Marin Software
  • Medallia
  • Medium
  • Meetup
  • Microsoft
  • Motivate International
  • Mozilla
  • Netflix
  • Netgear
  • NewsCred
  • Patreon
  • PayPal
  • Pinterest
  • Quora
  • Reddit
  • Rocket Fuel
  • SaaStr
  • Salesforce
  • Scopely
  • Shutterstock
  • Snap
  • Spokeo
  • Spotify
  • Square
  • Squarespace
  • Strava
  • Stripe
  • SurveyMonkey
  • TaskRabbit
  • Tech:NYC
  • Thumbtack
  • Turn
  • Twilio
  • Twitter
  • Turn
  • Uber
  • Via
  • Wikimedia Foundation
  • Workday
  • Y Combinator
  • Yelp
  • Zynga

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

137 Comments
  • Who would of thought a poorly planned out and poorly implemented travel ban would hurt a multitude of international companies, students, and legal visitors to the US?  Nope, never could have seen that coming.
  • Perfect opportunity for the ultimate Skype commercial!!!
  • LMAO
  • Not a peep from any of these companies when it was Obama banning the travel...  >.>
  • That never happened.
  • Actually, and I'm not going to argue, it did happen. In 2011 Obama temporarily banned travel from several "risky" countries. Look it up.
  • Obama's visa waiver program wasn't a blanket ban like this is.  The program just added more steps to the verification process. https://oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2016-02-10-Update... Even Obama's 2011 program didn't outright ban travel but slowed down the application process http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/president-trump-travel-ban-diff...
  • "Slowed down the application process"  Also known as a temporary ban.  Trump doesn't put it in orwellian new speak and people start loosing their ****.  >.>
  • It's actually not, though.  I don't need to play semantics to prove my point.  One ruled banned everyone regardless of the situation.  One rule made it harder for refugees but still possible.  
  • It actually is, though.  I don't need to play semantics to prove my point.  One rule delays everyone regardless of the sitration, the other rule delays everyone regardless of the situation. 
  • There was not a single month during 2011 in which refugees from any nation with the enhanced checks were not able to enter the country.  Therefore it by definition is not a 'ban'.  The main country targetted was Iraq, and every single month of 2011 Iraqi refugees were admitted to the USA.  But yes, I know a lot of people want to pretend that is equivilent to an outright ban blocking everyone from a list of nations from entering regardless of circumstances or vetting.  Because facts do not matter to a lot of people it seems.
  • "There was not a single month during 2011 in which refugees from any nation with the enhanced checks were not able to enter the country. "
    Excepting those months that they were delayed by the extra buracratic red tape.  It's a disticntion with out a difference.  Ban or buraucracy, the result is the same, the wording is different.  Semantics, New Speak, etc. 
  • The difference is that refugees and immigrants continued to enter the country every single month of the increased vetting.  There was no halt, and thus no ban.  The Trump administration halted inbound flights and detained refugees and immigrants at the airport, then put a ban in place for 3-6 months dependent upon country of origin.  Obama did no such thing, and even the increased vetting did not apply to many of the groups Trump's did, such as visa holders. ​Again, a ban, which Trump did, means no one can enter from the nations in question.  That never happened under Obama.  Every single month people entered frmo the nations in question.  There was never a halt.  Even the delays were negligible and did not stop the US from continuing to accept refugees and immigrants.  Furthermore, no new requirements were put on anyone with a visa, which was not true of Trump's order.
  • "The difference is that refugees and immigrants continued to enter the country every single month of the increased vetting. "
    From where?
  • Iraq, among others.  Which was on the increased vetting list.
  • The nations that were on the increased vetting list, including Iraq.
  • It did happen and lasted for six months. That year the US processed less than half the number of immigrants than the average.
  • These companies didn't complain because the restrictions back then wasn't carried out like this insane ban, so there wasn't much to complain about. Kind of obvious.
  • Yeah, one executive order banning travel was SOOO different from the other.  Obviously Trump is using the wrong pen!  Or maybe it wasn't written on the correct recycled paper!  IT'S SO OBVIOUS!!!
  • Yes, like you say, it's obvious. If you can read.
    "But the 2011 situation wasn't a full travel ban — simply a refugee application slowdown brought on by a Kentucky case involving two al Qaeda terrorists from Iraq found living in Bowling Green, Ky. Obama's measure didn't apply to immigrants and tourists."
    Link above. Initially, this crazy 2017 ban affected people all over the world because it also banned people with double citizenship. This has changed since then for some tho.
  • Sure, lots of immigrants and tourists coming out of that third world county.  Just poping over to the US for a holiday from the daily grind, right?  You really are not thinking this through?  Was ISIS actively working to infiltrate refugee populations and export their forces during Obama's ban?  Do you even think?
  • I always love when people use the term 'third world country' without realizing it has an actual definition and it is not "poor country".  Third World nations only are nations that are not aligned with the West (first world) or the Soviet Union (second world).  Notable third world nations include Switzerland, Ireland and Sweden.  The wealth of a nation has nothing to do with which 'world' they were labeled with.
    ​ As to the rest of your statement, even poor nations have people wealthy enough to travel, get educations and get jobs with global corporations.
  • I love it when people assume others are as ignorant as they are and project.  I didn't use the term incorrectly, yet you try to make points on it any way by pointing to exceptions that prove the rule underpinning the modern usage of the phrase.  GG. 
  • Okay, I guess ignorance is bliss.
  • Do you really think all the people with Iranian passports lives in Iran? No, and that's the very issue here. There's a thing called dual citizenship. People who have lived in europe for most of their lives, maybe works for Google, MS, etc, and then suddenly they can't go to the US in their work because they moved from Iran some 38 years ago?
    THAT'S one of the reasons these companies are pissed. The ban doesn't change anything in terms of security, if ISIS want to move people to the US they'll go through some other country, plenty to choose from.
  • Not a peep obviously because it didn't have the same effect. I dont recall Obama saying if you're Christian you're good, if Muslim your out..if your gonna cite Obama, at least understand facts.
  • Actually it did have the exact same effect, and not only that, Obama's ban lasted a lot longer.  You should really at least understand the facts before posting. 
  • Despite the ongoing threat of execution in Iraq, nearly all Yazidis, a Kurdish-Christian community that lives throughout Iraq, Syria, Turkey and even Armenia and Georgia, who have applied for asylum in the U.S. have been rejected, FoxNews.com has learned. The reason why is not clear, but advocates say Washington is turning a blind eye on the situation. Of the tens of thousands of Yazidis uprooted from their homes, only 10 families have been granted asylum in the U.S., according to Yazda, an American-based Yazidi advocacy group. None of the visas were issued due to religious persecution faced at the hands of ISIS. Aug 2015
  • trumPutin found WMD!
  • Probably because Obama never initiated a ban like this. You and 13 other people need to learn the facts before you go spouting off on the internet.
  • Too bad no one would put "Microsoft" into the headlines...only "Apple, Google, and Amazon opposes Trump's travel ban".
  • I am just so amazed that a TEMPORARY ban from "7" specific countries is going to decimate all of America and especially these high tech companies. We are so doomed! Smh
  • This is a completely and utterly rediculous response.  It's a TEMPORARY, FOUR MONTH suspension on immigrants from 7 specific countries that have significant terrorist ties.  The goal is to build a vetting process for these immigrants, because currently, there is no viable way to screen out potential bad guys.  What are we supposed to to?  Let in ANYONE, completely unvetted???  This is NOT anti-immigrant (it's only 7 countries), and it's not anti-muslim (it affects less than 40% of the muslim population).  By the way, if Trump wanted to block ALL immigration or ALL muslims, it'd be within his power to do so (but probably not smart!)
  • Agreed, it's ridiculous in every shape and form.  For every law there are winners and losers.  Trust me, I've gotten screwed on many "liberal" types of laws that I disagree with.  You don't see me busting windows in my home town and punching people in the face while holding swinging a flagpole.....  It's not a ban.  Sorry.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNu4xU9qOEM  (Paul Joseph Watson: Youtube)
  • And what do you expect to achieve with this temporary ban, other then doing more damage to the reputation of the USA than both Bush administrations managed during 12 years of warfare?
    Any terrorist organization with intent of committing acts of terror on US soil have the means to supply false papers for their agents.
    And those more or less random acts of terror we mostly experience, are almost always committed by domestic young men who have been abandoned by society and radicalized by hate propaganda (which this ban also is helping to fuel).
    If you really want to make America safer, keep your white christian men away from guns. They kill a lot more americans than all other religious groups or cultures combined, ever have.
  • And of course every claim you made can be backed up with facts right?
  • Trump stated what he wanted to have happen. He wants to put a plan in place that will make sure that the refugees and people from those specific countries get the best prossible vetting because its such a high risk for terror groups. That is his goal. Just because terror happened one way doesnt mean it always will. Trump stated security concerns... But judging by your bigotry towards whites Christian men and total lack of facts, you will probably dismiss that excuss as nonsense. 
  • I don't know, show that the law matters and it's not just how you feel about the world today?
  • "Let in ANYONE, completely unvetted???"
    Is that the only alternative?
  • No, which is why the temporary solution has been to stop letting people in without any real checking, as they develop a means of vetting. It's a move to stop the unvetted actions that have been viewed as risky and unwise.
  • It was a reply to nw47978.
  • You guys are ignorant cowards and should be ashamed of the fear mongering you're currently involved in. There is already an 18-24 month vetting process in place that involves over a dozen government agencies. Stupid people.
  • Its rather humorous how vigorous people will defend Trump over this and yet don't seem to understand if he was actually concerned about terrorists he would have had Saudia Arabia on his list as well since the majority of 9/11 hijakers came from there. But hey, I guess his business dealings and an appearance of "Protecting" gets his supporters to stay in line he's still winning eh?
  • Basically, which is why its almost pointless to argue with them.
  • According to the draft copy of Trump's executive order, the countries whose citizens are barred entirely from entering the United States is based on a bill that Obama signed into law in December 2015. Obama signed the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act as part of an omnibus spending bill. ...the current administration is looking to build a coalition to take on both radical Islam and the growing threat from Iran. To do this Donald Trump is looking to build a non-traditional alliance between Russia, the moderate Sunni states, and Israel.  Sources have already pointed to a possibility that Russia will push Iran out of Syria in order to make it easier for the Trump administration to work with them against ISIS. Furthermore, the countries Trump picked are all worn torn areas split between the competing interests of Sunni and Shiite armies. Although Egypt is known to have a large Muslim Brotherhood network, Sisi, the President of Egypt is sincere in his campaign to destroy them.  Sisi also has a close working relationship with Israel. While Saudi Arabia produced most of the hijackers for the the September 11th attacks, the new King and his administration are known reformers and have pushed to loosen of the network Wahhabi institutions. Is it perfect?  No, not at all, but both countries’ willingness to reform and crack down should not be minimized at this point. ---- Take the above for what you will but it is obvious there is much more going on than one can read in mainstream sensationalist headline news articles. Since when do any large publications publish the language of a full bill and place it in proper context(giving both pro and con discussions by appropriate government officials as an example) so the reader can make a judgement for themselves without bias? They don't do it because it is boring and not many people understand lawyer-speak so instead we get these polarized so called 'articles' that have obviously done there due diligence(yes, sarcasm) and many commenters that think they know better.
  • The point you're missing is that the ban also applied to people with green cards & other valid visas. Even people who were sitting on a plane at the time the order was applied were sent back. Even people who have been in the US for 20-30 years were refused entry because they had citizenship with one of the countries. Even people who have been living in other countries were refused entry due to dual-citizenship (an Australian woman was mentioned in the press). The process to grant visas, and especially green cards, is very rigorous and far from "completely unvetted".
  • Okay, so let's break it out to points:
    - "a TEMPORARY, FOUR MONTH suspension" => If it is only temprorary, and this is YOUR solution to stop the terrorists, then what happens after 4 months? The supposed terrorists will only be gone for that much, then the flood of terrorist attacks will happen! What a solution!
    - "from 7 specific countries that have significant terrorist ties" => As far as I see it, the significant terrorist ties lies within the US, All this madness in the middle east was started when the US invaded Iraq in 2003 under lies of chemical weapons, they left it with the hands of Al Shiaa which abide Iran, and caused a civil war that resulted in ISIS being created under hatred and injustice (not that I support them at all!). Trump himself -that you obviously support- said that ISIS was created by Obama. So who is the terrorist then? 
    Also, why didn't he include other countries than those 7? Uhm, like Saudi Arabia, which the attackers of 9/11 came from? I'll tell you why, it's because this ban is utter **** and it is only for the purpose of creating massive hatred towards Muslims, which resulted in multiple mosques being burnt to the ground (so far around 7 since this order).
    - "The goal is to build a vetting process for these immigrants, because currently, there is no viable way to screen out potential bad guys." => Obviously that is not the goal, as stated above, this is not a solution for this purpose. There are many viable ways to screen out potential bad guys, including making more effort in haunting down illegal and black market guns and weaponry. People are killed in thousands in the US each year, with no real effort towards this issue. Those individual terrorist attacks doesn't say squat about the Muslims in general that live in those countries. Doing this is just labeling people, when most of the terrorist attacks that occured in Europe and the US was made by the hands of either citizens living there for a long time, or by people that came in illegally, which in either case this ban won't solve the problem.
    - "Let in ANYONE, completely unvetted???" They don't do that, in fact, applying for a VISA can take up to 6 months depending on its purpose. They check everyone up, saying otherwise doesn't make your statement true. - "it's not anti-muslim" => in fact, it is, since christians from those 7 countries can apply and enter the US. - "if Trump wanted to block ALL immigration or ALL muslims, it'd be within his power to do so (but probably not smart!)" => No he couldn't, as the US is not his possession, he is a leader but not an owner. If he could, then why is 7 countries ban only not working? I am really thankful that more people like you don't exist. You are no better than the ISIS members with this ideology.
  • It's ridiculous that Trump convinced you morons that there is extreme vetting process already in place. What do you think these agencies investigating all of these people have been doing? It's also easyt to state that it's a temporary ban when you're not the one being refused entry into the country you work and live in.
  • Lol only 40% ?? That's a really small number not racist at all. Your president is openly admitting he is a racist everytime he can. At least he has the courage to do so, the same can't be said about his supporters.
  • I'll cut you a deal. We will put the immigration laws back to how they were in exchange for someone....anyone...getting rid if this CEO. I'd jump all over that deal.
  • Those tech companies should be training Americans for those jobs instead of exploiting cheap labor from over seas.
  • Bill, your talking about educating a group of people to do a job. Haven't you noticed that many of those on the right are anti-education. Lots of coal miners want their coal mining jobs back, when you bring up education to do something different, the response is "well, that's all they know, it's always been that way". It's like having a bunch of Fortran programmers upset because there are no more Fortran jobs, but they don't want to learn any flavor of C, java, html5 or any other modern programming language because Fortran is all they know.
  • Take care of your own first. The rest of the world thinks the US's motto should be "take care of us first, then you can take care of yourselves".
  • You know that's wrong. Several countries have more refugees from Syria than the US have. Germany alone has over 450,000.
  • And? Hahaha. What's that prove?
  • That Trump is right in not letting people from these countries in. Both Germany and France have had multiple terror attacks since opening their doors.
  • Yep
  • They didn't open their doors, the borders collapsed. Please read up and stop guessing. Terror attacks isn't anything new. Trump won't ban the countries from where the 9/11 terrorists came from.
    Talk about hypocrisy. As if 3000 dead wasn't enough.
  • And not one of them was committed by a refugee you stupid person.
  • Buy a mirror, little boy.
  • That the rest of the world doesn't expect the US to take care of them, which was the very topic.
  • Really? They wouldn't all be trying to pour in here if they didnt. And if that isn't the case, then who cares if the borders are shut down?
  • Dead on topic
  • The idea that Cheeto Jesus is interested in taking care of anyone other then himself, his disgusting family, and those that kiss his ass is laughable.
  • He is interested in legally citizens well being first.
  • This must be more of those "Alternative facts" (lies)
  • I love it when the media coins a phrase, and everyone runs with it and uses it in every other sentence because they think it makes them sound smart. 🙄
  • Just like when you bring up Nadella in almost every sentence?
  • lol "exploiting cheap labour from overseas" - have you had a look at your minimum wage?! If that isn't exploitation then I don't know what is
  • Why don't you educate yourself like the rest of us?
  • More NoGo Zones, coming soon now to the US. As ridiculous as the suburbs here with median home prices of $750,000+ wanting to become sanctuary cities. Feel good policies for NIMBYs to pat themselves on their own backs.
  • Let's just call them what they really are, anti-American companies.
  • So you think they should just shut up? That sounds very anti-American to me. Sounds more like The Soviet Union.
  • No, that is what is happening on the snowflake college campuses where they are rioting for no valid reasons that they can actually articulate. Bunch of brainless lemmings.
  • What's that got to do with anything? We're talking companies here. You think everyone should just shut up and relax? :D
  • His use of "snowflake" shows he's a typical alt-right (****) whiner, so yeah he really probably does think everyone who doesn't agree with Herr Trump should just shut up.
  • They are being paid by George Soros. Watch out for the hoodies.
  • Nice rebuttal. Where did you learn such excellent debating skills?
  • Lets just call you what you are. An ignorant p*ssy who has been manipulated by a lying man-child.