Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos has expressed support on behalf of the online retailer for a lawsuit filed against US President Donald Trump’s executive order that banned immigration and refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations.
The lawsuit, which was filed by Washington state’s attorney general in a US District Court in Seattle on Monday, sought an emergency temporary restraining order and said the president’s executive order damaged Washington’s economy.
The motion also said it would adversely impact the state’s companies, such as Microsoft and Expedia – both of whom also expressed support for the lawsuit.
In an internal email to Amazon employees, Bezos wrote: “We’re a nation of immigrants whose diverse backgrounds, ideas and points of view have helped us build and invent as a nation for over 240 years.
“No nation is better at harnessing the energies and talents of immigrants. It’s a distinctive competitive advantage for our country – one we should not weaken.”
Bezos promised to support Amazon employees in the US and around the world who might be affected by the executive order.
Ayesha Blackwell-Hawkins, an Amazon senior manager, said the online retailer and tech giant has more than 40,000 employees in Washington and more than 180,000 around the US – and that they come from “every corner of the world”.
Amazon is also aware of 49 employees who were born in one of the seven countries targeted in Trump’s controversial “Muslim ban”.
One of those is Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian director of Amazon Studios film The Salesman, which has been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category.
Amazon is not the first retailer to vocally oppose Trump’s executive order.
Earlier this week Mark Parker, the chief executive of sportswear brand and retail giant Nike, sent email to employees which in which he wrote: “This is a policy we don’t support.”