Updated with comments from Amazon, Expedia and Gov. Jay Inslee.
A federal judge has issued an emergency stay that halts part of President Donald Trump’s 90-day ban on U.S. immigration by citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Representatives of the ACLU and other organizations that challenged the executive order are tweeting from the courtroom that they’ve won a national stay against Trump’s executive order. The suit was filed on behalf of two Iraqi men who were detained at JFK Airport despite having visas that would ordinarily allow them to enter the country.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly reportedly allows valid visa holders who have landed in the country to remain, impacting an estimated 100 to 200 people detained at U.S. airports.
It comes a day after Trump signed the executive order, preventing citizens of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Libya from entering the U.S. for 90 days.
Amid protests at airports across the country, tech leaders have been speaking out against Trump’s ban. The tech industry relies heavily on highly skilled immigrants for key engineering roles. Microsoft said 76 employees were impacted by the new restrictions. Google said more than 100 employees were impacted.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said the company was offering free housing to people impacted by the order.
Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US. Stayed tuned for more, contact me if urgent need for housing
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) January 29, 2017
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who was hoping to build a metaphorical bridge between the White House and Silicon Valley, also spoke out against the ban.
Many people negatively affected by this policy are strong supporters of the US. They've done right,not wrong & don't deserve to be rejected.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 29, 2017
Update, 9:45 p.m. Pacific.: Expedia Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, whose business relies on global talent and travel, issued this statement:
“The President’s order represents the worst of his proclivity toward rash action versus thoughtfulness. Ours is a nation of immigrants. These are our roots, this is our soul. All erased with the stroke of a pen. As Expedia Inc we will do everything we can to protect and help our employees and travelers. That’s our job. Hopefully our government can do its job, thoughtfully, and with just a bit of respect for our history.”
Meanwhile, Amazon’s vice president of human resources, Beth Galetti, sent a message to Amazon employees with information and recommendations for those impacted by the executive order. The message reads, in part:
“From the very beginning, Amazon has been committed to equal rights, tolerance and diversity—and we always will be. As we’ve grown the company, we’ve worked hard to attract talented people from all over the world, and we believe this is one of the things that makes Amazon great—a diverse workforce helps us build better products for customers. …
“We are committed to supporting all of our employees and anyone in their immediate family who may be impacted by this order, including assistance with legal counsel and support, and will continue to monitor any developments.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee appeared on CNN this evening, decrying the “chaos and cruelty” of the executive order. Here’s a portion of his comments.
The people who are subject to this might be software engineers, they might be doctors who’ve gone somewhere and now want to get home — and they’re prohibited from getting home! It is extremely inhumane, it is cruel and it is unconstitutional. And by the way, it’s clear discrimination based on religion.
Look, the fact that we have a president who is discriminating against a religious group is just unbelievable. … It is unconstitutional to make federal decisions based on religion, and this executive order clearly does that. It’s just a masqueraded ban for Muslims. … Look, I’ve got people at Microsoft who now want to go do business in Europe. They can’t leave America because they can’t get back in. …
If we have standing to do this, we will challenge this in court. We are reviewing our options. This should not stand. Religious intolerance is foreign to our country, and all elected officials, I think, and all religions have a stake in this controversy.
Inslee said he had discussed the issue with Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who issued this statement.
AG Ferguson statement on exec order on immigration: pic.twitter.com/kahqlAALea
— WA Attorney General (@AGOWA) January 29, 2017
Google co-founder Sergey Brin, himself an immigrant, is among those at the protests in San Francisco.
Google cofounder Sergey Brin at SFO protest: "I'm here because I'm a refugee." (Photo from Matt Kang/Forbes) pic.twitter.com/GwhsSwDPLT
— Ryan Mac (@RMac18) January 29, 2017