Tech giants fight Trump's travel ban

Apple, Facebook, Google and Netflix among companies lending their names to legal action...

Tech giants fight Trump's travel ban

Apple CEO Tim Cook, right, and PayPal founder Peter Thiel, centre, listen as Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with technology industry leaders at Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A host of Silicon Valley's biggest players have ramped up their opposition to US President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration by challenging it in court. 

Some 97 companies, including the heavy-hitting likes of Airbnb, Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel, Netflix, Snap and Uber, have joined forces to file a legal brief against the order to severely restrict travel from seven Muslim countries for at least 90 days and freeze the US refugee programme for four months.

It was received by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals late on Sunday. According to the UK's Independent, the firms had initially planned to file later this week, but accelerated their efforts after similar legal challenges to the order were made.

The amicus brief, a legal document signed by parties that have a strong interest in a case but are not part of the litigation,  makes an impassioned case for the importance of immigration in America.

It states:

"Immigrants make many of the nation’s greatest discoveries, and create some of the country’s most innovative and iconic companies

"America has long recognised 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."

Trump's decision was immediately met with outcry from the tech community, as the likes of Google and Facebook emailed their employees to denounce the order.

Apple's chief executive Tim Cook made it clear that the iPhone maker did not stand behind the ban, touching on the fact that the biological father of co-founder Steve Jobs was a Syrian immigrant:

"Apple would not exist without immigration."

Trump puts blame on US judge


On Friday, Trump's ban was temporarily lifted by a US District judge, raising the US President's ire. An appeals court also declined to reinstate the restrictions over the weekend. It has given the administration until Monday afternoon to submit additional legal briefs justifying the order. 

Trump took to Twitter to argue that judges were putting the country in peril.

Trump tweeted:

"I have instructed Homeland Security to check people coming into our country VERY CAREFULLY. The courts are making the job very difficult! 

"Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!"