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Google to fund legal brief by 127 tech firms against Trump’s travel ban

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More than 120 technology companies including Apple, Facebook, Intel, Netflix, Microsoft, and Google are opposing Trump’s travel ban

Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc , is reportedly arranging money for the legal brief signed by more than 120 companies against President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration.

The search engine giant is leading the humanitarian campaign. It is working with Washington-based law firm Mayer Brown LLP to handle the brief, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the arrangement. Other companies also interested in providing money to the cover the costs of the brief, said the people who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The search engine company is likely to accept offers from other companies, the people said.

Trump’s Order Affects More Than 180 Google Employees

The executive order temporarily bars immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries.

Google is a strong opponent of Trump’s order to ban immigrants from entering the United States. Earlier USA Today (via The Verge) reported that the search engine giant has created a $4 million crisis fund for help people affected by Trump’s immigration ban. The company is donating all money to four organizations: the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee and UNHCR, the United Nations agency responsible for protecting refugees.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who also is an immigrant, has criticized Trump’s ban in an internal memo. It is “painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues,” according to Pichai’s memo.

Trump’s order affects at least 187 Google employees, according to the memo.

In addition to Google, other companies also plans to support immigrants. Lyft said it will donate $1 million over the next four years to the ACLU, while Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky intends to provide “free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the U.S.”

Legal Brief

More than 120 technology companies – including Apple, Airbnb, Facebook, Microsoft, Tesla, Intel, Lyft, Netflix, Snap and Uber Technologies – are opposing Trump’s order. Additionally, businesses beyond the tech industry including Levi Strauss & Co. and yogurt maker Chobani also joined the brief.

Donald Trump
Photo: President Donald Trump

In their arguments filed Sunday in the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the tech companies put emphasis on the economic and social contribution made by immigrants. The companies also voiced support for a lawsuit by the states of Washington and Minnesota seeking to stop Trump’s executive order.

“Immigrants make many of the Nation’s greatest discoveries, and create some of the country’s most innovative and iconic companies,” the brief states. “America has long recognized 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 travel ban temporarily blocked by a federal judge temporarily, allowing refugees and visa holders from seven Muslim-majority countries to enter the U.S. The appellate court in San Francisco is scheduled to hear arguments in the case on Tuesday.

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