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Tech takes a softer initial stance on Trump’s latest executive order



After several courts shot down his executive order that banned travelers from seven nations from entering the United States, President Trump today made another attempt to implement his proposed Muslim immigration ban. Trump signed a new executive order this morning that reduces the list of affected nations to six — it now excludes Iraq — and provides some clarity about the implementation of the order and the types of visas that are exempt. Hundreds of tech companies joined a legal effort to oppose the first executive order, but it’s not clear yet if they will respond to Trump’s latest effort.

Immigration is a key issue for tech companies with international workforces and several companies said that their workers were stranded during international travel due to the sudden rollout of the immigration ban. Executives were quick to condemn Trump’s first ban but the reaction to his second ban has been muted so far. Google, one of the first companies to speak out against the earlier executive order, has yet to address the current one.

Sources at several companies who opposed the first ban suggested their firms are waiting to take cues from state attorney generals, who were the first to challenge Trump’s initial order and will need to mount a second challenge before companies can follow the same pattern of signing an amicus brief.

However, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, whose challenge to the ban reached the 9th Circuit, said in a news conference today that he is reviewing Trump’s new order and has not yet determined his next steps. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring was similarly cautious in his statement, saying he would consider how the new executive order would impact Virginia’s ongoing legal challenge to the initial ban and determine whether any additional legal measures need to be taken.

Lyft, which signed an amicus brief in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals along with hundreds of other companies opposing Trump’s first ban, said today that it would meet with the American Civil Liberties Union to discuss other legal responses to the new executive order. 

“Lyft stands firmly against this order.  We will continue to speak out and take action when the values of our community are put at risk,” Lyft CEO Logan Green said in a statement, adding that he and his co-founder John Zimmer would meet with ACLU executive director Anthony Romero on Wednesday “to discuss how we can further support their efforts.”

The ACLU called the new executive order “unconstitutional” and said it would continue to fight it.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky took to Twitter to address the ban, saying Trump’s efforts are “still wrong.”

Airbnb also signed the amicus brief and offered to fund housing for immigrants stranded during the chaotic early hours of the initial order. It’s not clear yet what, if any, action Airbnb will take in response to today’s order.



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