Tech Takes On Trump: Google, Facebook Among Firms Backing Lawsuit Against Foreign Students Ban
US tech companies including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and LinkedIn have filed an ‘amicus curiae’ brief in a Massachusetts court against the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) July 6 order that international students would do not have to attend in-person classes will be deported from the United States.
On July 9, Harvard, M.I.T. and 180 other colleges filed a lawsuit against ICE and the Department of Homeland Security challenging the July 6 order.
In addition to giants like Google and Facebook, there are 19 “amici curiae,” or signatories, of the brief including Adobe Systems, Box, Dropbox, Github, LinkedIn, Microsoft, PayPal, SalesForce, Spotify, and Twitter.
Local unions like the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, the Software Alliance, and the Information Technology Industry Council also joined the Big Tech in the brief as signatories and argued that ICE’s “arbitrary and capricious” decision would hurt businesses, the U.S. economy and result in the loss of tens of billions of dollars that international students contribute to U.S. GDP each year.
“Without international students, American educational institutions face a sudden loss of critical mass — jeopardizing their ability to maintain their standards of excellence; produce research that helps keep U.S. businesses on the cutting edge of innovation, and provide the training that makes American students a strong talent pool for their future employers,” the brief stated.
Though this is not the first time Silicon Valley has stood up for immigrants and visa holders. Earlier during the 2017 ‘Muslim Ban’, tech giants openly criticised the Trump administration. Also, it makes sense since according to the 2016 census, 71 percent of Silicon Valley tech workers are immigrants.