Thursday 16 March 2017

Dozens Of Companies Including Airbnb, Lyft And Pinterest Take Fresh Legal Action


The corporate world’s technology giants have stepped up their battle against Donald Trump with more than 50 companies filing papers against the US President’s revised travel ban, according to CNN.

The broadcaster reported late on Wednesday that firms including Square, Twilio, Shutterstock, Airbnb, Lyft, Kickstarter and Pinterest, had all filed a new legal brief in support of a lawsuit against the ban in Hawaii.

Mr Trump’s new travel ban was due to come into effect on Thursday but the state of Hawaii said that it could do long-term harm to tourism by creating a global perception that the US is an exclusionary country. The ban's implementation has since been put on hold.

Six other states - Washington, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon - filed a separate lawsuit alleging the ban is unconstitutional and hurts states' residents, businesses and educational institutions.

The tech companies’ filing claims that “President Trump's new travel ban is no different [to the last]. It will inflict the same substantial and irreparable harm upon US companies and their employees,” according to CNN.

Last month, 97 companies, including Apple, Airbnb, Facebook, Google, Intel, Netflix, Snap, Uber Technologies and Zynga, filed an impassioned legal brief condemning the President’s original executive order on immigration.

More generally, tech companies have been some of the most vocal in opposing Mr Trump’s policies.

In January, Google set up a $4m crisis fund to help employees and other people affected by the original ban while Airbnb offered free accommodation to people left stranded by it.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has also spoken out publicly against Trump’s policy on travel and Starbucks in January said that it would hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years in response to the president’s move.

Mr Trump’s revised travel ban tries to erase the notion that it was designed to target Muslims by detailing more of a national security rationale. It is narrower and eases some concerns about violating the due process rights of travellers.

It applies only to new visas from Somalia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen and temporarily shuts down the US refugee programme. It also does not apply to travellers who already have visas.



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