Tech companies to Trump: Travel ban unconstitutional and inflicts 'significant harm'

President Donald Trump's travel ban has inflicted "significant harm on American business, innovation and growth," technology companies said in a legal filing challenging the constitutionality of the executive order.

An amicus brief by 97 technology companies opposes Trump's recent executive order, which imposes a 90-day ban affecting citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and a 120-day bar on all refugees. The ban was blocked by a federal judge in Seattle on Saturday, and the Department of Homeland Security has stopped enforcing it for the time being. The companies filed the brief to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is expected to rule on the ban in days.

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to impose tighter vetting of travelers entering the United States, at the Pentagon in Washington, January 27, 2017.
Carlos Barria | Reuters
President Donald Trump signs an executive order to impose tighter vetting of travelers entering the United States, at the Pentagon in Washington, January 27, 2017.

The Trump administration has defended the temporary order, designed to allow for more vetting of travelers from countries known to harbor terrorists.

The legal brief — backed by companies including Apple, Airbnb, Google, Facebook and Intel — calls the ban abitrary and subject to "inconsistency or abuse."

"[The ban] severely undermines immigrants' and businesses' ability to make plans, conduct business, or manage affairs involving non-citizens," the brief reads. "For any immigrant ensnared in this system, the prospect of entry becomes a 'sport of chance.' "

The tech giants — many of which were co-founded or led by immigrants — also argued it is no coincidence that immigrants are often at crux of innovation.

"People who choose to leave everything that is familiar and journey to an unknown land to make a new life neccesarily are endowed with drive, creativity, determination — and just plain guts," the brief says.

You can read the brief here.

— Reuters contributed to this report.