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Twitter, Netflix plan brief opposing Trump immigration order

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Technology companies including Twitter Inc. and Netflix Inc. plan to submit legal documents condemning President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, adding to the industry’s growing opposition to the policy, according to people familiar with the matter.

The amicus brief will be filed tonight in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and emphasize the importance of immigrants in the economy and society, the people said. The companies originally planned to file the brief later this coming week, but accelerated efforts over the weekend after other legal challenges to the order, the people said.

Twitter and Lyft Inc. confirmed their participation. Other companies signing include Square Inc., Salesforce.com Inc., Airbnb Inc., Uber Technologies Inc., Pinterest Inc. and AppNexus Inc., the people said, declining to be named because the information isn’t public.

"Immigrants make many of the Nation’s greatest discoveries, and create some of the country’s most innovative and iconic companies," the companies plan to say, according to a draft of the brief obtained by Bloomberg. "America has long recognized the importance of protecting ourselves against those who would do us harm. But it has done so while maintaining the fundamental commitment to welcoming immigrants—through increased background checks and other controls on people seeking to enter our country."

Late Friday, a U.S. District judge temporarily lifted the Trump administration’s ban, freeing refugees and visa holders from seven Muslim-majority countries to enter the U.S. An appeals court declined to immediately reinstate the immigration restrictions over the weekend.

The technology industry has been among the most vocal in opposition to Trump’s immigration policies.

Bloomberg News reported earlier that several large tech companies, including Microsoft Corp and Alphabet Inc., are planning to sign an open letter to President Trump expressing concern about the immigration order and offering help fixing it and other policies.

"We share your goal of ensuring that our immigration system meets today’s security needs and keeps our country safe," said a draft of that letter obtained by Bloomberg News. "We are concerned, however, that your recent Executive Order will affect many visa holders who work hard here in the United States and contribute to our country’s success.”

Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick stepped down from President Trump’s business advisory council last week after criticism from customers and drivers. His participation in the council, along with more than a dozen other U.S. executives, prompted blow-back on social media after the controversial executive order on immigration. It snowballed into a #DeleteUber campaign that benefited rival Lyft.

“Immigration and openness to refugees is an important part of our country’s success and quite honestly to Uber’s,” Kalanick wrote in an e-mail to employees obtained by Bloomberg. “There are many ways we will continue to advocate for just change on immigration but staying on the council was going to get in the way of that. The executive order is hurting many people in communities all across America.”


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