Amazon and Expedia Join Lawsuit to Stop Trump’s Immigration Ban

Updated: Jan 30, 2017 5:38 PM ET

Pressure on U.S. President Donald Trump grew on Monday over his order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations, as the state of Washington announced a legal challenge and former President Barack Obama took a swipe at his successor.

The leader of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate, Chuck Schumer, said he would bring legislation on Monday evening seeking to end the ban, although his effort stood little chance of being passed by the Republican-led Congress

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson joined a chorus of concern expressed by U.S. allies, ranging from Iraq to Germany, at Trump's executive order to forbid entry into America by refugees and people from some predominantly Muslim countries.

Washington will be the first state to take on the executive order, announcing an effort to sue in federal court.

"It is an insult and a danger to all of the people of the state of Washington, of all faiths," Governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat, told reporters. He said it was important for the Trump administration to face lawsuits from the state itself, and not just cases filed by people who have been impacted by the order.

Tens of Thousands in U.S. Cities Protest Trump Immigration Order

People gather at Terminal 4 during a protest against Donald Trump's travel ban at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, U.S.
People gather at Terminal 4 during a protest against Donald Trump's travel ban at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, U.S., January 29, 2017. Tens of thousands of people rallied in U.S. cities and at airports on Sunday to voice outrage over President Trump's executive order restricting entry into the country for travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations.Andrew Kelly — Reuters
People gather at Terminal 4 during a protest against Donald Trump's travel ban at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, U.S.
Immigration Protest
People gather to protest against the travel ban imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order, at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Demonstrators gather in Copley Square for the "Boston Protest Against Muslim Ban and Anti-Immigration Orders" to protest U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban in Boston
Zabihollah Zarepisheh of Iran celebrates after being released from being held in Terminal 4 for over 30 hours as part of Donald Trump's travel ban at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, U.S.
Riot police push activists gathered at Portland International Airport to protest against President Donald Trump's executive action travel ban in Portland
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer addresses the crowd during a protest against President Donald Trump's immigration ban in New York City
Protestors Rally At Philadelphia Airport Against Muslim Immigration Ban
Rally And March In NYC Protests Refugee And Muslim Ban
International Arrivals at Dulles
Trump Travel Ban Impact New York
MIPHT DTW PROTEST
Protest against President Trump in Portland
Demonstrators Protest Muslim Travel Ban In New York City
Protestors Rally At Philadelphia Airport Against Muslim Immigration Ban
A woman greets her mother after she arrived from Dubai on Emirates Flight 203 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, U.S.
People gather to protest against the travel ban imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order, at O'Hare airport
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) greets demonstrators protesting U.S. Donald Trump's executive order travel ban at Logan Airport in Boston
Niloofar Radgoudarzi thanking the crowd for protesting after her father was released from custody after being detained in San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco
Activists gather outside a U.S. Courthouse in Brooklyn, New York
Trump Refugees Texas
Trump Travel Ban Impact
Mark Sernett, Wade Sernett
Demonstrators Protest At JFK Airport As White House Defends Immigrant Ban
Trump Refugees
Marian Vayghan reacts after her uncle had been released from a detention center for deportation back to Iran as people protest of Donald Trump's travel ban from Muslim majority countries at LAX in Los Angeles
A man gives pizza to protesters chanting slogans in opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on immigration and travel outside Terminal 4 at JFK airport in Queens
Trump Refugees Seattle
Trump Refugees Texas
Protestors Rally At Dulles International Airport Against Muslim Immigration Ban
Women walk by a team of volunteer lawyers in their makeshift office working to assist travelers detained as part of Donald Trump's travel ban in Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, U.S.
People gather at Terminal 4 during a protest against Donald Trump's travel ban at John F. Kennedy International Airport
... VIEW MORE

Andrew Kelly — Reuters
1 of 31

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the lawsuit would include constitutional claims, including allegations that Trump's order violates the equal protection clause and the First Amendment. Those arguments are also being used in other lawsuits filed over the weekend on behalf of individuals detained at U.S. airports.

Republican Trump's directive on Friday put a 120-day hold on allowing refugees into the country, an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and a 90-day bar on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The president argues that his action will protect America from terror attacks but critics complain that it unfairly singles out Muslims, violates U.S. law and the Constitution, and defiles America's historic reputation as a welcoming place for immigrants.

Technology companies Amazon.com and Expedia, both of which are based in Washington state's Seattle area, will support the state's suit, Ferguson said.

Another Washington state company, Microsoft, said it has been cooperating with the attorney general's office to provide information about the order's impact "in order to be supportive."

"To our employees in the U.S. and around the world who may be directly affected by this order, I want you to know that the full extent of Amazon's resources are behind you," Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos said in a note to employees.

Chaos broke out over the weekend as border and customs officials struggled to put the order into practice amid loud protests at major U.S. airports. Federal judges blocked deportation of those detained under the order.

Several other state attorneys general, including those from California and New York, have said they are considering whether to take their own legal action. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the country's biggest Muslim advocacy group, filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of more than 20 people.

U.S. stocks suffered their biggest drop of 2017 as investors took the curb on immigration as a reminder that not all the new president's policies would be market-friendly.

OBAMA CRITICISM

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump's move was popular with Americans.

"The majority of Americans agree with the president. They recognize that the steps that he's taken were to keep the country safe," Spicer said, citing unnamed polls.

Referring to protests, Trump's predecessor Obama said through a spokesman that he is heartened by the political activism he sees across the country and disagrees with discrimination against people based on their religion.

Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for Obama, said the Democrat who left office 10 days ago "fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion." He did not mention Trump by name. It is rare for former presidents to criticize their successor's policies so soon after leaving the White House.

On Twitter, Trump appeared to blame the airport confusion on protesters as well as on Schumer, who teared up over the weekend while discussing the ban, and even a computer system failure at Delta Air Lines late on Sunday.

"Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage ... protesters and the tears of Senator Schumer. Secretary Kelly said that all is going well with very few problems. MAKE AMERICA SAFE AGAIN!" he tweeted.

Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter.

Schumer, a New York Democrat, urged repealing the order.

"We should repeal this, and then we should sit down in a careful, thoughtful way to figure out ways we need to tighten up things against terrorism," he told NBC News, noting that some Republican lawmakers also had spoken out against Trump's action.

But even if the Republican leadership in the Senate allowed a vote on Monday to repeal the order as Schumer wants, the Democrats would need all of their members plus at least three Republicans to back him for the measure to pass.

And a proposed repeal of the ban would face even stronger resistance in the House if it passed the Senate.

ALLIES WORRIED

Trump rejected criticism that the order amounted to a Muslim ban, saying more than 40 Muslim-majority countries were not affected.

But abroad, concern mounted.

"This is, of course, a highly controversial policy, which has caused unease and, I repeat, this is not an approach that this government would take," Britain's Johnson told parliament.

Britain, which is trying to maintain its so-called special relationship with the United States, is potentially one of Trump's strongest allies abroad. Prime Minister Theresa May last week became the first foreign leader to visit him as president.

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in London and other British cities on Monday to demonstrate against the ban. People, some holding placards reading "No to Racism, No to Trump" and "Dump Trump," staged a protest outside May's Downing Street residence.

The Iraqi parliament voted to ask the government to retaliate against the United States, putting at risk cooperation in the fight against Islamic State.

A government official in Baghdad said Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari plans to meet the U.S. ambassador on Monday or Tuesday to express dismay at Trump's decision.

U.S. State Department officials circulated a draft memo dissenting from Trump's executive order and separately, U.S. officials said the department received multiple cables from U.S. embassies over the weekend reporting foreign dissatisfaction at the order.

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: http://www.djindexes.com/mdsidx/html/tandc/indexestandcs.html. S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions