As a response to the immigration ban signed on President Trump’s first day in office banning immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia from entering the U.S., nearly 100 companies have filed a legal document expressing the detrimental effect the executive order has on their business. The legal motion came in the form of an amicus brief, a document that can be filed by non-litigants in appellate court cases. This type of legal motion typically indicates that the group that took legal action has a vested interest in the outcome of the court case. The brief educates the court in regards to additional information that may be deemed relevant when a verdict is being reached.
The brief was formally filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and included not only major technology centered companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft, but also companies like Chobani and Uber. The brief claimed that the Executive Policy is a deviation from the “Fairness” and “Predictability” that has been a historic component of America’s immigration policy. The ban was stayed by Judge Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York, meaning that until the case is decided, immigrants from the affected nations can still enter the United States.
Beyond the impact the ban will have on American companies, the impact could potentially be a positive one for companies north of the border. In an open letter the group Tech Without Borders praises Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s adamant stance that Canada will remain inclusive of all nationalities. The letter goes further, calling for a temporary visa to be provided to those individuals which find themselves unsure of the status of their residency in the U.S. The visa would pave the way for eventual permanent residency if the individual in question should choose to stay in Canada. Jennifer Moss, the spokesperson for Tech Without Borders, expressed that Canada is willing to welcome the individuals that are turned away by America. Despite the ongoing turmoil, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen stated the Canadian administration will first seek out clarification regarding the specifics of the United States immigration policy before issuing any visas.
America’s immigration policy has not always been as open as in recent decades. Despite often receiving praise for being a nation of immigrants, laws like the Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924 enforced restrictive quotas at a time when immigration from European nations was declining and immigration from regions such as Latin America was rising. It was not until the passage of the Hart-Celler Act of 1965 that these restrictive quotas were lifted.