Google Coordinates Funding of Legal Brief Versus Trump Order
Google parent Alphabet Inc. is organizing the funding of the legal brief signed by more than 120 companies that oppose President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, according to people familiar with the arrangement.
While Alphabet is coordinating with Washington, D.C.-based law firm Mayer Brown LLP to handle the amicus brief, other companies have offered to fund a share of the costs, the people said. Alphabet plans to accept the offers, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. A representative for the search giant declined to comment.
The tech companies emphasized the economic and social contribution made by immigrants in their arguments filed Sunday in the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The companies support a lawsuit by the states of Washington and Minnesota seeking to stop Trump’s executive order. Apple Inc., Airbnb Inc., Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp., Tesla Inc. Intel Corp., Lyft Inc., Netflix Inc., Snap Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. are among the technology companies that participated. Businesses beyond the tech industry that signed on include Levi Strauss & Co. and yogurt maker Chobani.
“Immigrants make many of the Nation’s greatest discoveries, and create some of the country’s most innovative and iconic companies,” the brief states. “America has long recognized the importance of protecting ourselves against those who would do us harm. But it has done so while maintaining our fundamental commitment to welcoming immigrants—through increased background checks and other controls on people seeking to enter our country.”
On Friday, a federal judge temporarily blocked the Trump administration from enforcing the ban, freeing refugees and visa holders from seven Muslim-majority countries to enter the U.S. The appellate court in San Francisco is scheduled Tuesday to hear arguments in the case.
Initially, the companies planned to file the brief later this week, but accelerated their efforts over the weekend after other legal challenges to the order. More technology companies joined the brief on Monday, including Adobe Systems Inc., HP Inc. and IAC/InterActiveCorp.
Alphabet employees have been outspoken opponents of the order, with thousands staging demonstrations at company offices last week in which co-Founder Sergey Brin and Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai, both of whom are immigrants, gave speeches.