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Trump lashes out amid rising opposition to travel ban

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump lashed out Monday at signs of rising public opposition to his controversial travel ban as tech giants threw their weight behind a push in US courts to roll it back.

With the ban suspended since Friday, the legal battle has moved to San Francisco where a US court of appeals ordered the administration to submit a brief Monday defending Trump’s January 27 decision.

“Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election, Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting.” he said on Twitter.

Trump, who spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, is said to be increasingly frustrated with his staff’s failure to contain the fallout from the ban’s botched rollout, which sparked chaos at US airports and drew international condemnation, the New York Times reported.

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The order slapped a blanket ban on entry for nationals of the seven mainly-Muslim countries for 90 days and barred all refugees for 120 days. Refugees from Syria were blocked indefinitely.

But Friday in Seattle, a federal district judge ordered the temporary nationwide suspension of the president’s order, allowing the thousands of travellers who were suddenly barred from US soil to start trickling back in.

The president’s executive order summarily denied entry to all refugees, and travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — a move critics charge will damage US interests.

Mounting opposition 

In an additional blow, a slew of Silicon Valley giants led by Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter filed a legal brief late Sunday in support of the lawsuit.

The 97 companies speaking out against Trump’s travel ban said it harms recruiting and retention of talent, threatens business operations, and hampers their ability to attract investment to the United States.

The ban “inflicts significant harm on American business, innovation, and growth,” said the brief, whose backers also include Airbnb, Dropbox, eBay, Intel, Kickstarter, LinkedIn, Lyft, Mozilla, Netflix, PayPal, Uber and Yelp.

A group of prominent Democrats including former secretaries of state John Kerry and Madeleine Albright joined their voices to the criticism on Monday, in a legal filing to the San Francisco appeals court.

“We view the order as one that ultimately undermines the national security of the United States, rather than making us safer,” they said.

“Reinstating the executive order would wreak havoc on innocent lives and deeply held American values.”

Specifically, the Democrats said Trump’s travel ban could endanger US troops in the field, disrupt counterterrorism cooperation and feed Islamic State group propaganda.

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Trump lashes out amid rising opposition to travel ban

by AFP