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Yahoo Joins List of Tech Firms Challenging Travel Ban

Yahoo and Tumblr are the latest companies to file a friend-of-the-court brief to challenge Trump's executive order on immigration.
Image: Immigration order protest in Philadelphia
Comcast technology employees walk out of work Thursday to protest President Donald Trump's immigration order.Jessica Kourkounis / Getty Images

Yahoo and Tumblr announced Friday that they had filed an amicus brief challenging President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration.

The tech companies join the likes of almost 100 firms — including Twitter, Uber, Google and Apple — who filed a friend-of-the-court brief earlier this month with a federal appeals court.

“Yahoo was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo — two Stanford grad students, one from Taiwan and one from Louisiana — so we know firsthand that great things can happen when America welcomes the world’s best and brightest,” said Yahoo's General Counsel, Ron Bell, in a blog post Friday morning.

"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 amicus curiae brief, filed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, read. "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."

The brief also calls the order "a significant departure from the principles of fairness and predictability that have governed the immigration system" and argues that it violates 1965 immigration legislation, signed into law by former President Lyndon Johnson, which prohibited discrimination on the basis of national origin when granting asylum to foreign travelers.

Yahoo's brief was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Related: Silicon Valley’s Visceral Reaction to Trump’s Immigration Ban

The appeals court already dealt a blow to the order when it rejected the Trump administration's request to reinstate the president's order restricting entry into the United States by travelers from seven majority Muslim countries. A federal district judge in Seattle halted implementation of the order.

Comcast technology employees walk out of work Thursday to protest President Donald Trump's immigration order.Jessica Kourkounis / Getty Images

Some tech giants, including Amazon and Expedia, filed briefs in connection with that case early last week, arguing that Trump's order negatively affects their businesses.

Amazon chose not to join Monday’s amicus brief, referencing its participation in a lawsuit in the company’s home state of Washington.

Related: Amazon Prepares a Lawsuit Opposing Trump's Immigration Order

An estimated 37.4 percent of Silicon Valley employees are foreign born, according to the 2016 Silicon Valley Index (PDF) released by think tank Joint Venture.

(NBC News is a division of NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable provider. Comcast technology employees in Philadelphia staged a workplace demonstration against Trump's order last week. It wasn't immediately clear on Monday whether Comcast or any of its divisions are involved in the new court brief.)