Oracle holds out on tech industry’s Trump protest as Google takes charge

With many prominent Bay Area tech firms signed onto a legal action opposing President Donald Trump’s inflammatory executive order on foreigners’ entry to the U.S., one major voice remains absent: Oracle’s.

Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Tesla, HP, PayPal, Airbnb and Salesforce are among the 127 firms to sign a legal brief arguing against Trump’s order.

So where’s Oracle? Well, formerly on Trump’s transition team, in the person of company co-CEO Safra Catz.

“I plan to tell the President-elect that we are with him and are here to help in any way we can,” Catz said ahead of a December meeting of tech industry leaders with Trump. “If he can reform the tax code, reduce regulation, and negotiate better trade deals, the U.S. technology community will be stronger and more competitive than ever.”

Catz also wrote a blog post on politics website The Hill supporting Trump and Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary.

“Bold change requires a new way of thinking, and President-elect Donald Trump has demonstrated this type of leadership with his choice for Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin,” Catz wrote in a post published Jan. 10.

Catz is an Israeli immigrant who came to America at age 6, when her father got a job at MIT, according to Israel newspaper Haaretz. The firm’s executive chairman, Larry Ellison, is the adopted son of Jewish immigrants from Europe, who changed their name to “Ellison” as a riff on Ellis Island where Lady Liberty stands, according to a Fortune report.

In addition to withholding its support from the tech firms’ amicus brief, Oracle had also kept silent when its tech rivals and fellows were speaking out against the order in the days following its issue, CNN noted Feb. 6.

Oracle did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, Google’s parent firm Alphabet is organizing funding for the 127-firm legal action against Trump’s order, according to Bloomberg. Other companies have offered to share the costs, and Alphabet will take them up on that, Bloomberg reported.

Trump’s order is now ensnared in court and on hold, after attorneys general for Washington and Minnesota sued to halt the travel ban, and a federal judge on Feb. 3 issued a temporary nationwide block on implementation. The U.S. Justice Department on Jan. 5 filed an emergency request for reinstatement of the ban, and was denied.

The matter is scheduled to go before a federal judge in San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. PT.


Photo: Oracle’s Larry Ellison in San Francisco in 2010. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


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