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Elon Musk joins the battle against Trump's immigration ban

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February 7, 2017

It looks like the Trump administration is in for even more chaos now that Elon Musk has joined the 'Silicon Valley War' against the president's immigration ban last week by signing up all his companies to the amicus brief filed against the Whitehouse.

Yesterday, no less than 97 technology companies including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and now Tesla & AL filed in a San Francisco court against the immigration ban calling it illegal, unconstutitional and arguing that it would greatly damage their businesses.

The list was so long that many noted Jeff Bezos' Amazon and Elon Musk's SpaceX and Tesla were not there.

Jeff Bezos has previously promised to bankroll a legal challenge against the ban, so his absence was surprising.

But Elon Musk is a member of Donald Trump's Strategic & Policy Forum and his companies' absence drew criticism that he was aligning himself with the president.

The Silicon Valley entrepreneur has previously suggested that people send him proposed changes to the immigration ban and he would personally take them up with Trump.

Last week, mounting anger against the immigration ban led Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to announce he would resign from the same policy group over the new president's actions.

In a filing yesterday, twenty-two more technology companies put their names to the brief, including all of Elon Musk's companies, highlighting the extent to which the Valley is greatly opposed to the ban.

Others that have signed up include Adobe, HP, Evernote, IAC, Pandora, and a few others. But IBM, Oracle and Palantir are still notable by their absence, for now at least.

As for the legal process on the ban itself, on Monday, the Ninth Court of Appeals in San Francisco set a hearing scheduled for 3:00 PM Pacific Time on Tuesday.

Due to the extraordinary interest in the hearing, the court has decided to audio livestream the event. Three randomly selected federal judges will hear various arguments from lawyers from two U.S. states strongly opposed to the ban (Washington and Minnesota) and the Department of Justice, which argues it's necessary for national security.

Each side will be given thirty minutes and then the court is expected to decide shortly after.

If the court decides to remove the temporary injunction against Trump's ban, the shutters will again come down for people from one of seven Muslim-majority countries, as well as people with joint citizenship from those countries.

If the court does decide to maintain the injunction, it will almost certainly move to the Supreme Court where a critical precedent about the extent of the president's power will be made within months.


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