The nation’s four wireless carriers remained silent this weekend even as 97 tech companies including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, and Twitter filed a court brief voicing their opposition to President Donald Trump’s recent immigration order.
In an amicus brief (posted by Inc.com here) filed with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Sunday night, the companies argued “immigrants make many of the Nation’s greatest discoveries, and create some of the country’s most innovative and iconic companies.” Trump’s executive order implementing a 120-day ban on all refugee admissions and a 90-day ban on admission of citizens from seven countries, they said, runs contradictory to the nation’s “fundamental commitment to welcoming immigrants” and “violates the immigration laws and Constitution.”
More than that – and perhaps a pertinent argument given Trump’s pledge to bring jobs back stateside – the companies said the ban will harm their businesses and give many the motivation to open new operations elsewhere.
“The Order effects a sudden shift in the rules governing entry into the United States, and is inflicting substantial harm on U.S. companies,” the brief reads. “It hinders the ability of American companies to attract great talent; increases costs imposed on business; makes it more difficult for American firms to compete in the international market-place; and gives global enterprises a new, significant incentive to build operations—and hire new employees—outside the United States.”
However, notably absent from the list of signatory companies were the nation’s four major wireless carriers – Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.
AT&T and Verizon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday; T-Mobile and Sprint aren’t commenting. None of the carriers have released any official statements in response to Trump’s Executive Order on immigration issued on Jan. 27.
While they’ve remained quiet on Trump’s recent actions, T-Mobile CEO and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure issued tweets of congratulations when the president took office last month, and executives from all four carriers have expressed optimism that the new administration would bring with it tax reform and other business-friendly policies.
On Friday, United States District Judge James Robart issued a temporary restraining order lifting the ban in a ruling that was immediately appealed by the Trump administration in an emergency motion to stay. Trump’s motion, however, was denied pending a full appeal.
Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, former Deputy National Security Advisor Avril Haines, former Secretary of State John Kerry, and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta were among a group of high-ranking former national security, foreign policy, and intelligence officials who this weekend filed their own response to Trump’s motion for stay. The group said they were “unaware of any specific threat that would justify the travel ban,” and noted that instead of making the country safer, it might actually be detrimental to national security efforts.
“We view the Order as one that ultimately undermines the national security of the United States, rather than making us safer,” the officials wrote. “In our professional opinion, this Order cannot be justified on national security or foreign policy grounds … It could do long-term damage to our national security and foreign policy interests, endangering U.S. troops in the field and disrupting counterterrorism and national security partnerships.”