Microsoft joins 96 other companies in legal brief calling President Trump’s travel ban “illegal”

Microsoft has joined 96 other companies, including rivals Google, Apple, Salesforce and many more in presenting a united front against President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban on travellers from 7 predominantly Muslim countries.

The companies submitted a brief to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opposing President Trump’s executive order saying it made companies less competitive and made it difficult to attract talent:

The statement reads in part:

“The Order effects a sudden shift in the rules governing entry into the United States, and is inflicting substantial harm on U.S. companies. It hinders the ability of American companies to attract great talent; increases costs imposed on business; makes it more difficult for American firms to compete in the international marketplace; and gives global enterprises a new, significant incentive to build operations — and hire new employees — outside the United States.”

The companies are trying to make the case for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to prevent Donald Trump from vacating a temporary restraining order on the travel ban a federal judge in Seattle issued late Friday.

“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,” the brief notes saying “The instability and uncertainty [caused by the executive order] will make it far more difficult and expensive for U.S. companies to hire the world’s best talent — and impede them from competing in the global marketplace.”

Silicon Valley has been a major centre of growth in USA and an estimated 37 percent of the workforce in Silicon Valley is foreign-born, according to the think tank Joint Venture. This prominently includes Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Sergey Brin and Steve Job’s father, Abdulfattah Jandali, a Syrian migrant.

Of note is that opposition to the ban is not unanimous in the US tech scene, with companies set to benefit from President Trump’s extreme vetting agenda, like Oracle, HP and Palantir not adding their voice to the protest.

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