Apple, Google, Amazon take aim at Trump visa ban

  • >> Reuters
    Published: 2020-06-24 04:06:50 BdST

US President Donald Trump walks down the steps of Air Force One with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, US Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) and US Rep Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) as he arrives at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, US, Jun 23, 2020. REUTERS

US President Donald Trump has suspended the entry of some foreign workers in a bid to boost domestic hiring, sparking opposition from corporate America and tech sector executives including Google's Sundar Pichai and Tesla's Elon Musk.

The visa suspension, effective June 24, will last until the end of the year and is expected to open up 525,000 jobs for US workers.

Alphabet Inc's Google:

Pichai, Alphabet's chief executive officer, said in a tweet, "Immigration has contributed immensely to America's economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today. Disappointed by today's proclamation - we'll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all."

Susan Wojcicki, the chief of Alphabet's YouTube, tweeted: "Immigration is central to America's story, and it's central to my own family's story. My family escaped danger and found a new home in America ... at Youtube, we join Google in standing with immigrants and working to expand opportunity for all."

Google had 2,678 H1B visa approvals in 2019, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Inc

"Amazon opposes the Administration's short-sighted decision to pause high-skill visa programmes. Welcoming the best & the brightest global talent is critical to America's economic recovery. We will continue to support these programs & efforts to protect the rights of immigrants," the company said.

The company had the most number of H1B visa approvals at 3,026 in 2019.

Apple Inc

"Like Apple, this nation of immigrants has always found strength in our diversity, and hope in the enduring promise of the American Dream. There is no new prosperity without both. Deeply disappointed by this proclamation," Chief Executive Tim Cook said in a tweet.

Apple had 1,136 H1B visa approvals in 2019.

Box Inc

"This is unbelievably bad policy on every level. It will only mean more jobs move outside the US, and in no way makes America better or more competitive," CEO Aaron Levie tweeted.

Box had 21 H1B visa approvals in 2019.

Facebook Inc

"President Trump's latest proclamation uses the COVID-19 pandemic as justification for limiting immigration. In reality, the move to keep highly-skilled talent out of the US will make our country's recovery even more difficult. America is a nation of immigrants and our economy and country benefit when we encourage talented people from around the world to live, work, and contribute here. That's more true now than ever," the company said.

Facebook had 1,518 H1B visa approvals in 2019.

Microsoft Corp

"Now is not the time to cut our nation off from the world's talent or create uncertainty and anxiety. Immigrants play a vital role at our company and support our country's critical infrastructure. They are contributing to this country at a time when we need them most," president Brad Smith tweeted.

Microsoft had 1,701 H1B visa approvals in 2019.

PayPal Holdings Inc

"Creating new restrictions for immigrants who seek to work in the US is disappointing — and will slow our progress as a nation," CEO Dan Schulman said on LinkedIn.

Paypal had 271 H1B visa approvals in 2019.

Salesforce.Com Inc

"As we plan for recovery from the COVID-19 crisis let's focus on common sense & fair immigration policies. H-1B workers should be treated with respect & dignity. They generate real innovation & growth . . . benefiting us all and fueling our economy. We embrace all our Ohana," CEO Marc Benioff said in a tweet.

Salesforce had 267 H1B visa approvals in 2019.

Tesla Inc

"Very much disagree with this action. In my experience, these skillsets are net job creators. Visa reform makes sense, but this is too broad," Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted.

Tesla had 324 H1B visa approvals in 2019.

Twitter Inc

"This proclamation undermines America's greatest economic asset: its diversity. People from all over the world come here to join our labor force, pay taxes, and contribute to our global competitiveness on the world stage," the company said.

Twitter had 117 H1B visa approvals in 2019.

Uber Technologies Inc

"As a company that builds technology for a global audience, Uber believes immigration helps to fuel innovation. Today's executive order is disappointing for people from all over the world and will hurt American businesses," the company said.

The company had 486 H1B visa approvals in 2019.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc

"We consider all qualified candidates for positions at Goldman Sachs regardless of whether they may need a visa for their work authorization. The firm and our advisors are providing assistance and advice to any employees impacted by the latest Executive Order," a spokesperson for the company told Reuters.

It was not immediately clear how many H1B visa approvals Goldman had in 2019.