Both of Elon Musk’s companies, Tesla and SpaceX, have joined 97 other tech companies as signatories supporting Washington state’s lawsuit against Donald Trump’s immigration ban.
The ban, which blocks immigration from seven nations with largely Muslim populations, is being challenged in a lawsuit by Washington state, currently being heard in the ninth circuit federal court in San Francisco. The suit has already led to a temporary stay of the order.
Musk’s companies were not signatories of the original amicus brief, but a spokesperson from Tesla said “as soon as we saw the brief this morning, we insisted on being added.” Musk had previously discussed plans to use his position on Trump’s economic advisory council to “express our objections to the recent executive order on immigration.”
Musk has been criticized for his decision to serve on the economic council. Even after Uber CEO Travis Kalanick left the council in response to public pressure to distance the brand from Trump’s policies, Musk stood by his assertion that engaging with the president was the right approach.
In addition to SpaceX and Tesla, 29 other companies also joined as signatories, including HP, Adobe, Bungie, and Slack. Other companies, such as Groupon, have filed separate letters in support of the brief. Another amicus brief was filed by right-wing groups arguing in favor the ban, including the Gun Owners of America, the English First Foundation, Citizens United, and others.
The amicus brief makes an argument for the important of immigration to American life, saying:
“Immigrants make many of the Nation’s greatest discoveries, and create some of the country’s most innovative and iconic companies. Immigrants are among our leading entrepreneurs, politicians, artists, and philanthropists. The experience and energy of people who come to our country to seek a better life for themselves and their children—to pursue the “American Dream”—are woven throughout the social, political, and economic fabric of the Nation.”
The brief goes further to describe why the order is unlawful, in addition:
“Immigration law contains a clear command: in issuing visas and making admission decisions, immigration officials cannot discriminate based on an alien’s nationality, race, sex, or any other invidious classification. The Order violates that commitment, and harms the Nation’s economy and competitiveness in the process.”