American tech companies oppose travel ban

IT companies unite against Trump’s immigration policies in an amicus brief

American President Donald Trump’s views on immigration have been generating controversies ever since he first revealed them in his election campaign. However, the public reactions to this issue peaked on 27th January, when Trump gave an executive order banning refugees and citizens from seven countries from entering the US.


On Friday, a significant legal step was taken against Trump’s decision, as Federal Court judge James L. Robart of Seattle issued a temporary restraining order directed at the President’s travel ban, which was followed by the Department of Homeland Security allowing citizens from the seven countries to board their flights to the United States. In response to this action, the US Justice Department filed an emergency motion which demanded the reinstatement of the executive order. The request was rejected by a Federal Appeals Court on Sunday, but public opposition to President Trump’s immigration policy continues, with over 100 American companies and institutions signing an amicus brief, which is a legal document submitted to a court by any interested parties, against the ban. Among the signatories are tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, eBay, Adobe, HP and Tesla, as well as prestigious academic institutions like Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University.

In the amicus brief, the aforementioned companies and Universities, along with the other signatories, made statements in support of the further employment of non-American citizens. All of these companies and institutions are known for their reliance on immigrants; according to the 2016 Silicon Valley Index, released by the think tank Joint Venture, as much as 37.4% of the employees in Silicon Valley, the world’s IT haven, are foreign-born. Among the main arguments brought by the signatories against the travel ban are the following:

“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 market- place; and gives global enterprises a new, significant incentive to build operations—and hire new employees—outside the United States.”

This amicus brief will be filed together with a similar one submitted by a number of federal states opposing the travel ban issued by the President. With judicial organs, large companies, educational institutions and local administrations across the country expressing their disapproval of this executive order, it remains to be seen whether and how Donald Trump will be able to impose his immigration policies.


English – German glossary:

to reveal = (hier) bekanntgeben

issue = Thema

to peak = (ihren) Höhepunkt erreichen

to ban = verbieten

Federal Court = Bundesgerichtshof

temporary restraining order = einstweilige Verfügung

to board a flight = einen Flug antreten

to file = einreichen

emergency motion = Dringlichkeitsantrag

to demand = verlangen

reinstatement = Wiedereinsetzung

request = Anforderung

to reject = ablehnen

Federal Appeals Court = Bundesberufungsgericht

amicus brief = Amicus-Curiae-Brief

to submit = vorlegen

signatories = Unterzeichner

giants = Riesen

prestigious = renommiert

to make a statement = eine Aussage machen

employment = Anstellung

reliance = (hier) Abhängigkeit

think tank = Expertenkommission

haven = (hier) Oase

foreign-born = im Ausland geboren

to impose sth = (hier) etw aufdrängen

disapproval = Missbilligung