Silicon Valley is putting muscle into its words by filing and preparing several lawsuits against President Donald Trump that challenge the constitutionality of his anti-immigration executive orders.
After vocally and monetarily protesting Trump's orders, several tech companies are now banding together to mount a legal challenge. This makeshift coalition of companies is being organized by San Francisco startup Github, according to Reuters. Companies that have been invited to a Tuesday gathering include Google, Airbnb, and Netflix, the report said. The goal is to put together an amicus brief, otherwise known as a friend-of-the-court filing, to aid litigants.
It's unclear which case or cases the brief would address, but on Tuesday, the city of San Francisco formerly filed a lawsuit against Trump claiming that his order threatening to take away federal funding from so-called Sanctuary Cities is in violation of the 10th Amendment. Sanctuary Cities are counties or cities that do not enforce federal immigration laws.
For San Francisco, where there are hundreds or even thousands of startups that rely on foreign talent to build software and hardware, fighting for Sanctuary City status sends a sign to the world that immigrants are welcome, says Laura Gomez, CEO of Atipica, a Bay Area talent discovery startup.
"Immigration is key to technology -- on one side, H-1B visa holders, and on the other, immigrants who serve those tech workers," says Gomez, who is from Mexico and originally arrived in the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant. "They may or may not be undocumented, but most certainly, they know someone who is."
Up north in Washington, Amazon and Microsoft have also joined the fight. There, Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a lawsuit claiming Trump's Muslim ban is unconstitutional. That order has prevented refugees, travelers with visas, and dual citizens from seven Muslim countries from entering the United States. Amazon and Microsoft, as well as Expedia, will be providing Ferguson with information detailing their reliance on immigrant workers to aid in the lawsuit.
"We're a nation of immigrants whose diverse backgrounds, ideas, and points of view have helped us build and invent as a nation for over 240 years," said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a memo sent to his employees on Monday. "To our employees in the U.S. and around the world who may be directly affected by this order, I want you to know that the full extent of Amazon's resources are behind you."