Banning Immigrants Won't Make America Great Again: Tech Companies File Amicus Brief Calling Travel Ban Unconstitutional - NBC Bay Area
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Banning Immigrants Won't Make America Great Again: Tech Companies File Amicus Brief Calling Travel Ban Unconstitutional

70 of the companies are headquartered in Silicon Valley, a review of the list shows

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    Dozens of companies, from Airbnb to Zynga, filed a friend of the court brief on Monday with a San Francisco appeals court, saying that the United States and their businesses are comprised of, and better off with, a welcoming atmosphere to immigrants. Scott Budman reports.

    (Published Monday, Feb. 6, 2017)

    Nearly 100 companies, from Airbnb to Zynga, filed a friend of the court brief on Monday with a San Francisco appeals court, saying that the United States and their businesses are comprised of, and better off with, a welcoming atmosphere to immigrants.

    Seventy one of the 99 companies appearing on the brief are headquartered in Silicon Valley, a review of the list shows.

    The legal filing follows on the heels of other actions, including a massive employee rally at Google and $4 million donation to immigration groups; Lyft's donation of $1 million to the Amercian Civil Liberties Union; and Airbnb's creation of a #WeAccept message during the Super Bowl.

    “Immigrants are among our leading entrepreneurs, politicians, artists, and philanthropists,” the 53-page amicus brief, filed with the U.S. District Court of Appeals, states. “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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    Plus, the motion states: “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 motion was filed to help Washington state and the state of Minnesota persuade a three-judge appeals panel with the 9th Circuit in San Francisco that President Donald Trump’s executive order against allowing travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries is unconstitutional. On Friday, federal Judge James Robart, based in Seattle, temporarily blocked the immigration order.

    That was followed by the Trump administration on Saturday arguing that Robart overreached by "second-guessing" the president on a matter of national security. Acting Solicitor General Noel Francisco said the president alone has the power to decide who can enter or stay in the United States. "The power to expel or exclude aliens is a fundamental sovereign attribute, delegated by Congress to the executive branch of government and largely immune from judicial control," the White House brief states.

    The White House had until 3:01 p.m. PST Monday to file rebuttal papers. The historically liberal court could rule on the matter in a few days.

    The tech companies argued if that if the president indeed wants to “Make America Great Again,” his executive order makes it more difficult and expensive for U.S. companies to "recruit, hire, and retain some of the world’s best employees."

    “It threatens companies’ ability to attract talent, business and investment to the United States. That shift deprives employees and businesses of the predictability they require,” the motion states.

    The “great American companies” wouldn’t be where they are without immigrants, the motions points out. Immigrants or their children founded more than 200 of the companies on the Fortune 500 list, including Apple, Kraft, Ford, General Electric, AT&T, Google, McDonald’s, Boeing and Disney, according to the brief. Collectively, these companies generate annual revenue of $4.2 trillion, and employ millions of Americans, the motions states.

    That doesn’t mean that the United States shouldn’t worry about terrorism or vet people trying to enter the country, the tech leaders say.

    “America has long recognized the importance of protecting ourselves against those who would do us harm,” the motion states.

    But, the argument continues, “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.”

    Tesla Motors, based in Palo Alto, and Space X were last-minute adds to the list Monday. Both companies are headed by Elon Musk, who is a South African native and is a member of Trump's business advisory council.

     

    The list of the 99 companies:

    1. AdRoll, Inc.

    2. Aeris Communications, Inc.

    3. Airbnb, Inc.

    4. AltSchool, PBC

    5. Ancestry.com, LLC

    6. Appboy, Inc.

    7. Apple Inc.

    8. AppNexus Inc.

    9. Asana, Inc.

    10. Atlassian Corp Plc

    11. Autodesk, Inc.

    12. Automattic Inc.

    13. Box, Inc.

    14. Brightcove Inc.

    15. Brit + Co

    16. CareZone Inc.

    17. Castlight Health

    18. Checkr, Inc.

    19. Chobani, LLC

    20. Citrix Systems, Inc.

    21. Cloudera, Inc.

    22. Cloudflare, Inc.

    23. Copia Institute

    24. DocuSign, Inc.

    25. DoorDash, Inc.

    26. Dropbox, Inc.

    27. Dynatrace LLC

    28. eBay Inc.

    29. Engine Advocacy

    30. Etsy Inc.

    31. Facebook, Inc.

    32. Fastly, Inc.

    33. Flipboard, Inc.

    34. Foursquare Labs, Inc.

    35. Fuze, Inc.

    36. General Assembly

    37. GitHub

    38. Glassdoor, Inc.

    39. Google Inc.

    40. GoPro, Inc.

    41. Harmonic Inc.

    42. Hipmunk, Inc.

    43. Indiegogo, Inc.

    44. Intel Corporation

    45. JAND, Inc. d/b/a Warby Parker

    46. Kargo Global, Inc.

    47. Kickstarter, PBC

    48. KIND, LLC

    49. Knotel

    50. Levi Strauss & Co.

    51. LinkedIn Corporation

    52. Lithium Technologies, Inc.

    53. Lyft, Inc.

    54. Mapbox, Inc.

    55. Maplebear Inc. d/b/a Instacart

    56. Marin Software Incorporated

    57. Medallia, Inc.

    58. A Medium Corporation

    59. Meetup, Inc.

    60. Microsoft Corporation

    61. Motivate International Inc.

    62. Mozilla Corporation

    63. Netflix, Inc.

    64. NETGEAR, Inc.

    65. NewsCred, Inc.

    66. Patreon, Inc.

    67. PayPal Holdings, Inc.

    68. Pinterest, Inc.

    69. Quora, Inc.

    70. Reddit, Inc.

    71. Rocket Fuel Inc.

    72. SaaStr Inc.

    73. Salesforce.com, Inc.

    74. Scopely, Inc.

    75. Shutterstock, Inc.

    76. Snap Inc.

    77. Spokeo, Inc.

    78. Spotify USA Inc.

    79. Square, Inc.

    80. Squarespace, Inc.

    81. Strava, Inc.

    82. Stripe, Inc.

    83. SurveyMonkey Inc.

    84. TaskRabbit, Inc

    85. Tech:NYC

    86. Thumbtack, Inc.

    87. Turn Inc.

    88. Twilio Inc.

    89. Twitter Inc.

    90. Turn Inc.

    91. Uber Technologies, Inc.

    92. Via

    93. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

    94. Workday

    95. Y Combinator Management, LLC

    96. Yelp Inc.

    97. Zynga Inc.

    98. Tesla Motors Inc.

    99. SpaceX

     Eric Tucker from the Associated Press contributed to this report.

    Contact Lisa Fernandez at lisa.fernandez@nbcuni.com or 408-432-4758. Follow on Twitter at @ljfernandez