Bay Area tech companies join fight against travel ban

Image 1 of 2

The tech industry will be closely monitoring Tuesday’s oral arguments in the San Francisco Appeals Court  over President Trump’s immigration ban.  More than 100 companies have signed a 53-page legal brief, calling the immigration ban unconstitutional.
Tesla and Space X have joined more than 100 tech companies like Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter opposing the president's immigration ban.

The brief said the ban on seven predominately Muslim countries will "make it more difficult and expensive for u-s companies to recruit, hire and retain some of the world's best employees.”

“We have to remember that immigration is part of the secret sauce that has made our nation successful and our innovation, economy successful so this is one we need to stand up and speak up,” said Carl Guardino of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

President Trump said the ban will protect Americans. In a tweet Monday night, he wrote "the threat from radical Islamic terrorism is very real, just look at what is happening in Europe and the Middle East."

However, tech companies said the ban will hurt their competitive edge globally. According to the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, 125,000 computer science engineering jobs need to be filled each year and roughly 25,000 Americans graduate with those degrees.

“That’s a shortfall every year of 100,000 and you can't walk off the street and say you want to be a computer scientist,” said Guardino, “You have to have that training and professional skills.”

Tech Analyst Carolina Milanesi said if tech companies can't compete, the costs could trickle down to the consumer.

“People who are trained to do certain jobs that are specific to the manufacturing systems are trained in those markets,” said Milanesi. “Here we don't train people in the same way and quite frankly people don't want the jobs we are trying to create in our market.”

Some Trump supporters said they plan to boycott the companies that oppose the executive order. Some customers claiming to have cancelled their Tesla 3 model orders.

CEO Elon Musk received criticism for working with Trump. He's part of two advisory councils. Musk said more moderates should work with the President.