Washington state secured a temporary restraining order on Friday that immediately halted implementation of President Trump’s executive immigration order nationwide — and Amazon, Expedia, and Microsoft “certainly helped the case,” according to Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
In an interview with GeekWire following Judge James Robart’s ruling, Ferguson said declarations of support filed by Amazon and Expedia and public comments from Microsoft helped illustrate the negative impact Trump’s travel ban had on the state’s businesses.
Here’s how Ferguson characterized their role in the victory:
Look to their great credit, I reached out to their corporate counsels last Saturday and Sunday and said, ‘Hey we’re filing this complaint on Monday, are you interested in filing a declaration of Support?’ And they rallied that weekend to make it happen. So it helped illustrate the harm to our state, which as you heard the judge, he’s looking at standing. What’s the harm to the state? And that’s the threshold we had to meet before we get to the merits. And so demonstrating it’s Washingtonians, it’s also businesses, their employees, and how they conduct their business that’s being adversely impacted by this unconstitutional executive action certainly helped the case, so I deeply appreciate their willingness to get involved.
In the declarations, Amazon and Expedia said their employees and business operations suffered under the travel ban — which barred immigration of citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations for 90 days and prevented Syrian refugee immigration indefinitely.
Judge Robart’s ruling instructs immigration personnel to immediately (albeit temporarily) stop enforcing the ban nationwide. Ferguson said he expects immigrants will be able to board planes returning to the U.S. as early as this evening.
The restraining order is just the first step in an ongoing lawsuit, in which Washington state will attempt to prove Trump’s order is illegal.
GeekWire asked whether Washington state’s tech companies will continue to play an active role in the lawsuit as it unfolds.
“I do,” said Ferguson. “Oh yeah I do. They’ve been great partners so far and, hey, our hope is additional businesses will join as well. As you might imagine, things were happening very quickly over the weekend. And so I really appreciate them moving so quickly to make this happen … They’ve been a huge help.”
Attorney General Ferguson’s full press conference video is below.