High-profile tech executives, including Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Apple's Tim Cook, are reportedly mulling legal action against US president Donald Trump over his controversial "Muslim ban" executive order which has impacted their employees.
Bezos appears to be spearheading the charge, promising his employees that Amazon will lobby both politically and through the US courts, if necessary. Currently, he has officially pledged support to legal action filed by the Washington State attorney general but hints he may also launch his own legal action too.
In an internal email, Bezos said: "This executive order is one we do not support. Our public policy team in DC has reached out to senior administration officials to make our opposition clear.
"Our legal team has prepared a declaration of support for the Washington State attorney general who will be filing suit against the order. We are working other legal options as well.
"To our employees in the US 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."
The declaration of support, now public, was filed by Ayesha Blackwell, senior manager of mobility and immigration at Amazon. It reveals the firm is aware of 49 employees who were born in one of Trump's targeted countries who now work legally in the US.
It noted: "Amazon employs more than 40,000 employees in the State of Washington and more than 180,000 employees in the United States. Our employees come to us from every corner of the United States and every concern of the world.
The effect of Trump's travel ban
"One example of an impacted employee is a senior Amazon lawyer who was born in Libya but has been a UK citizen for many years. We have instructed the employee to cancel her plans [...] rather than risk being denied entry to the United States."
Earlier this week, Amazon released an official statement opposing the travel ban. Signed on 27 January, the executive order impacted countries including Yemen, Iraq and Syria and was swiftly met both condemnation and mass protests around the world.
Tech CEOs unite against Trump
Almost immediately after it was signed, a swathe of Silicon Valley figures also rebelled against the proposals. "We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat," said Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg as the bans took hold.
Three days later on 30 January, Google cofounder Sergey Brin addressed a 2,000-strong protest against the ban led by his company's employees. He said: "In all seriousness, so many people were obviously outraged by this order, as am I myself, being an immigrant and a refugee.
"I think it's important to not frame this debate as being liberal versus republican and so forth. It's a debate about fundamental values."
Most recently, Apple boss Tim Cook, speaking to the Wall Street Journal, indicated his firm may join Bezos' legal stance. The newspaper reported Cook is now "weighing legal action" and quoted him saying any move will have to be "constructive and productive".
Two other major US states – New York and Massachusetts – are reportedly lodging legal cases against Trump over the immigration crackdown. Attorney general Eric Schneiderman said: "This is a president who does not have respect for the rule of the law."