- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 16, 2017

President Trump’s latest immigration order drew fire from Silicon Valley this week, albeit to a lesser extent than last time around. Dozens of tech companies signed a court brief Tuesday opposing the president’s revised travel ban, but Apple, Google and Facebook aren’t among them.

When the Trump administration moved in January to impose travel restrictions on citizens of seven Muslim majority countries, 127 tech companies signed an amicus brief opposing its efforts. A similar document filed Tuesday in Honolulu federal court, meanwhile, listed less than half the number of signatories.

Airbnb, Dropbox, Lyft, Kickstarter, Pinterest and Postmates are included among the 58 companies named in a friend-of-the-court brief filed against Mr. Trump’s revised travel ban Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. Notably absent, however, are several huge companies that opposed the president’s previous order, including Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, eBay, Intel and Netflix.

Robert Atkins, an attorney who co-wrote the latest filing, told Reuters Wednesday that he expects the number of signatories will expand. According to Reuters, however, none of the seven aforementioned companies immediately commented this week with respect to their absence.

Outcry from Apple and others earlier this year preceded a federal appeals court’s decision to uphold a restraining order against Mr. Trump’s initial Jan. 27 executive order on immigration. The Trump administration originally said it would fight the ruling, but ultimately abandoned the case and offered a revised order in its place.

A revised executive order signed by Mr. Trump on March 6 had been expected to implement travel restrictions starting Thursday morning for citizens of six of the countries named in his previous mandate, but was sidelined when U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu ordered an emergency halt Wednesday.

The 58 companies who signed this week’s brief claimed that Mr. Trump’s latest order is “no different” than his last, and would “inflict the same substantial and irreparable harm upon U.S. companies and their employees” if implemented.

“Never in modern American history has that infusion of talent and passion and creativity been stanched, as it is vital to the lifeblood of our economy,” they wrote. “Never, until now.”

Apple’s absence from Tuesday’s filing is particular notable given the company’s staunch opposition earlier this year to the president’s previous executive order. Apple CEO Tim Cook said last month that the U.S. is a “nation made stronger by immigrants,” and that Mr. Trump’s immigration policy “is not a policy we support.”

Mr. Trump’s revised executive order would temporarily restrict travel for citizens of Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, Iran and Syria.

Addressing Wednesday’s emergency halt afterwards, the president accused the Honolulu judge of exercising “unprecedented judicial overreach.”

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