Tension is mounting between the two Washingtons.
Today, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced he is filing a lawsuit against Donald Trump, officials in his administration and the Department of Homeland Security, claiming the president’s executive order barring some immigrants from entering the country is unconstitutional. Washington is the first state to sue President Trump over his immigration order.
Amazon and Expedia, two Seattle-area tech giants, are filing declarations of support for the lawsuit, detailing the negative impacts of Trump’s policy on their operations and employees.
The filing is Amazon’s first formal condemnation of Trump’s actions on immigration. The e-commerce behemoth has faced some backlash for its “weak response” to the controversial policy. Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi criticized the executive order as “inward-looking versus forward thinking, reactionary versus visionary,” in an internal email to employees.
Expedia confirmed the declaration of support but declined to comment further. GeekWire reached out to Amazon and will update this story when we hear back.
Microsoft is also working with the Attorney General’s office as Washington state builds a case against the Trump administration.
“We’ve already been in contact with the AG’s office over the weekend, providing them with information on the impact on Microsoft and our employees, in order to be supportive,” a Microsoft spokesperson told GeekWire. “And we’d be happy to testify further if needed.”
The order targeted in the complaint bans people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States for 90 days and refugees from crossing U.S. borders for 120 days. Ferguson is also seeking a temporary restraining order that would immediately stop the executive order from being implemented.
Ferguson’s complaint denounces the order for “separating Washington families, harming thousands of Washington residents, damaging Washington’s economy, hurting Washington-based companies, and undermining Washington’s sovereign interest in remaining a welcoming place for immigrants and refugees.”
Yesterday, a federal judge issued an emergency stay on the 90-day ban, reportedly allowing valid visa holders to remain in the country. Ferguson’s lawsuit goes further, seeking to overturn entire sections of the executive order nationwide.
“It violates the rule of law and I will not put up with it,” Ferguson said in an address Monday. “I won’t. It’s my job responsibility; it’s the responsibility of our office to hold everyone to the rule of law and it does not matter if you happen to be the president of the United States.”
Attorneys general in Hawaii and Pennsylvania are also considering suing President Trump over the immigration order, according to Reuters.
Microsoft, Google, Facebook and other big tech companies that rely on talent from other countries have openly criticized the executive order.