Fresh from their adversarial hearings, US tech’s biggest players are going in to bat against the White House again – this time over President Donald Trump’s ban on certain working visas.
Apple, Amazon and Facebook have joined a host of American firms, including Netflix and Twitter, to back a lawsuit filed by major industry associations, against Trump’s temporary freeze on H-1B visas, which are disproportionately used by tech startups. Most of the individuals affected by the ban are Indian engineers and developers.
Soon after the ban was announced in June, Silicon Valley heavyweights lined up to pour scorn on what Amazon—which employs over 3,000 H-1B grantees—called a “short-sighted” decision. Facebook added that “the move to keep highly skilled talent out of the US will make our country’s recovery even more difficult.”
The lawsuit, launched by groups including the National Association of Manufacturers and the US Chamber of Commerce, argues the ban will simply push American recruiters to look outside the country for skilled workers. Businesses were “scrambling” to adjust HR to the ban, the brief said.
Others have decried the White House’s apparent attempt to curtail immigration under the veil of business imperatives and the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed over 163,000 US lives – by far the most on Earth.
Alphabet head Sundar Pichai, who was recently hauled over hot coals by a House committee for his company’s antitrust issues, said that immigration was critical to the success of Alphabet’s lead firm Google, and the United States.