Skift Take

Travel companies have an economic self-interest in reversing the travel ban and maintaining the relatively free flow of visitors. But, in the current political climate, they obviously feel that the issues involved are important enough to risk stepping into the line of fire.

At least eight travel or transportation companies have joined about 120 other technology companies in a court filing opposed to the Trump administration’s travel ban for seven Muslim-majority countries.

A ninth company, Expedia, filed its own declaration last week seeking to upend the immigration and travel ban.

The travel companies signing-on to the amicus curiae brief [embedded below] in support of the suit by Washington and Minnesota states to overturn the ban are Airbnb, Hipmunk, Lyft, SpaceX, Tesla, TripAdvisor, Uber and Yelp. These companies are not parties to the litigation but expressed their support for the plaintiffs seeking to upend the travel ban on a permanent basis.

Among the 127 companies that are signatories to this friend of the court brief are numerous others ranging from Google to GoPro that might be liberally placed in the travel category for part of their businesses.

These companies argue that the immigration ban harms the competitive position of U.S. companies, and is unlawful because it discriminates on the basis of religion and the president is over-stepping his authority as it relates to immigration issues.

Their court filing comes in addition to Expedia’s separate declaration January 30 supporting a reversal of President Trump’s executive order, which has temporarily been reversed.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is slated to hear Tuesday afternoon the federal government’s appeal of a temporary retraining order in Seattle staying the president’s executive order.

The U.S. Justice Department, in appealing the ruling in Seattle that temporarily overturned the executive order, argues that the president has access to classified national security information and has broad authority to set immigration rules in the name of national security. The courts should not intervene, the federal government argues.

State of Hawaii Says Executive Order ‘Tearing Apart’ Families

Separately, the State of Hawaii filed a complaint [embedded below] in U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii seeking to overturn the Trump administration’s executive order, arguing that it is “tearing apart Hawai‘i families, damaging Hawaii’s economy, and wounding Hawai‘i institutions.”

“President Trump’s Executive Order is tearing apart Hawai‘i families, damaging Hawaii’s economy, and wounding Hawaii institutions,” the State of Hawaii argued. “It is subjecting aportion of Hawaii’s population to discrimination and second-class treatment, and denying them their fundamental right to travel overseas.

“Moreover, the Executive Order is eroding Hawaii’s sovereign interests in maintaining the separation between church and state and in welcoming persons from all nations around the world into the fabric of its society.”

Noting that Hawaii hosted 8.7 million visitors who spent $15 billion in the state in 2015, the  State of Hawaii stating that the executive order is harming tourism and state revenue.

In 2015, more than 6,800 visitors arrived in Hawaii from the Middle East and 2,000 came from Africa, the court filing states.

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Tags: ride-sharing, trump, visas

Photo credit: Isahaq Ahmed Rabi, second left, greets extended family members as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, left, and Port of Seattle Commissioner President Tom Albro applaud shortly after Rabi’s arrival February 6, 2017, at Seattle Tacoma International Airport. Associated Press

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