March 29, 2017

Amazon pledges legal support to action against Trump travel ban

01 February 2017, 01:17 | Muriel Sparks

Amazon weighing 'other legal options' in opposition to Trump's immigration order

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says Trump's immigration order “is one we do not support”

Bezos has joined multiple tech CEOs opposing the ban, including Google founder Sergey Brin. No nation is better at harnessing the energies and talents of immigrants. While Amazon and Expedia have each submitted sworn statements as part of the lawsuit - filed by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson - Microsoft has affirmed that it would "be happy to testify further if needed".

It took Amazon a day to collect its response - even if it is a strong one - with Bezos dedicating Amazon's deep legal resources to fight Trump's refugee ban.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told his employees in an email Monday that the company is also exploring other legal options, and that it is seeking to work with Congress on legislative action, according to several media reports.

Amazon said it is aware of 10 dependents of employees who were born in the countries affected but live in the USA lawfully.

Ayesha Blackwell-Hawkins, an Amazon senior manager of mobility and immigration, said the company has more than 40,000 employees in Washington state and more than 180,000 in the US, and they come from "every corner of the world".

Ayesha Blackwell-Hawkins, senior manager of mobility and immigration at Amazon, counted 49 employees born in one of the countries identified in the executive order. The company had 1,000 customers as of Jan 29, who hold passports issued by the listed countries, and have itineraries that involve flights either originating, terminating or transiting the U.S. It is also unclear whether the suspension applies to employees with dual citizenship in both an identified and non-identified country, Amazon added.

Academy Award-Nominated ARRIVAL to Be Re-Released in Theaters 1/27
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Bezos' company-wide email, reaffirmed the points in a note sent on Saturday by Amazon Vice President of Human Resources Beth Galetti that the Seattle-based internet retailer was committed to backing its employees around the globe with any travel issues.

Trump's administration has announced it will exacming the use of so-called H1-B work visas where tens of thousands of foreigners work in the U.S. tech industry with lower pay and far fewer benefits than their USA colleagues. This executive order is one we do not support.

Both companies offered legal assistance to the more than 76 employees who are impacted.

Microsoft said it has been cooperating with the attorney general's office to provide information about the impact of the executive order "in order to be supportive".

In Expedia's declaration of support, the company said it is working with each of the affected travelers to find solutions and says the order "creates significant difficulties for the operation of Expedia's business".

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