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Federal government / Immigration / Legal

Brooklyn tech companies join legal brief against Trump immigration order

Etsy and Kickstarter are among nearly 100 companies that filed a joint amicus brief in a suit challenging the executive order that restricts entry into the U.S.

Support for immigration at the LGBT Solidarity Rally in Manhattan. (Photo by Flickr user Mathias Wasik, used under a Creative Commons license)

Several members of Brooklyn’s tech community have been quite vocal in their opposition to President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily suspends refugees and restricts citizens of seven countries from entering the U.S.

Some 17 Brooklyn-based companies signed onto an open letter against the order drafted by tech advocacy organization Tech:NYC. Kickstarter also put money behind its stance by making a $75,000 donation to the International Refugee Assistance Project.

Now at least a handful of those companies have taken legal action.

A group of 97 tech heavyweights filed an amicus curiae, or friend-of-the-court, brief yesterday in support of the state of Washington, which has filed suit against the Trump administration over the executive order. Among the local companies and organizations that signed onto the brief are Etsy, General Assembly, Kickstarter, Tech:NYC and coworking company Knotel, which has locations in Dumbo and Williamsburg.

The brief lays out an economic case against the executive order:

The Order effects a sudden shift in the rules governing entry into the United States, and is inflicting substantial harm on U.S. companies. 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 marketplace; and gives global enterprises a new, significant incentive to build operations — and hire new employees — outside the United States.

And it appeals to the celebrated notion of immigrants’ ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit:

The tremendous impact of immigrants on America — and on American business — is not happenstance. People who choose to leave everything that is familiar and journey to an unknown land to make a new life necessarily are endowed with drive, creativity, determination — and just plain guts. The energy they bring to America is a key reason why the American economy has been the greatest engine of prosperity and innovation in history.

You can read the entire brief below.

Companies: Etsy / General Assembly / Kickstarter
Series: Brooklyn

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