Tech firms join forces to push back on Trump immigration ban

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Stunned by the White House’s anti-immigration and travel ban, a group of major tech companies is planning on submitting a “friend of the court” brief in one or more of the lawsuits that have been filed against the Trump executive order issued Saturday. The tech group will meet today in California to discuss strategy according to a Reuters report.

This follows the lead of Microsoft, Amazon and Expedia, which are supporting the Washington Attorney General, who filed suit against the immigration ban on Monday. Amazon is also apparently reaching out to members of Congress to explore legislative options.

The Silicon Valley meeting was reportedly initiated by GitHub and will include Google, Netflix, Kickstarter, Airbnb, Netflix, Box and AdRoll. Numerous other companies have been invited but Reuters was unable to confirm their attendance. Among them are Pinterest, Yelp, Salesforce, Evernote, Etsy, Dropbox, Adobe, Mozilla, Zynga and others.

Before the ban was announced, last week, Square introduced a powerful new branding campaign that told the story of a Syrian-refugee entrepreneur. Syria is one of seven majority Muslim countries on the immigration and travel-ban list.

The ban has been particularly galling to technology firms whose workers come from many countries across the world and some of whose employees are now caught up in the government’s travel restrictions. Google has created a $4 million fund to respond to the crisis and support organizations working on behalf of immigrants and refugees.

Multiple lawsuits have already been filed by several states and organizations seeking to block or overturn the immigration ban. It’s not clear which of them the tech companies might join. There are competing assessments of the viability of the lawsuits, which have been filed on a variety of mostly Constitutional grounds.

Many of these same technology companies met with Trump in December in an effort to improve relations. Immigration was reportedly one of the subjects discussed at the meeting.

About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.


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