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Tech giants including Amazon, Google and Twitter line up to slam Trump’s ban on visas

Amazon, Google and Twitter were among the leading tech firms who slammed Donald Trump’s latest immigration crackdown claiming his visa freeze would make the US less competitive.

The President has banned new H-1B visas, which are used by major companies to bring over highly-skilled engineers from abroad. Around 18,000 H1-B visas were given to Google and Apple last year.

Amazon said the measures ‘put America’s global competitiveness at risk’ while the CEO of file-sharing firm Box dubbed it ‘unbelievably bad policy’.

A Facebook spokesperson said it will be even more difficult’ for the US to recover after coronavirus because of the measures.

Donald Trump has banned new H-1B visas, which are used by major companies to bring over highly-skilled engineers from abroad

CEO of Alphabet - Google's parent company - Sundar Pichai tweeted: 'Immigration has contributed immensely to America's economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today'

Box founder and CEO Aaron Levie wrote that Trump's measures are '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 of Alphabet – Google’s parent company – Sundar Pichai (left) tweeted: ‘Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today.’ Box founder and CEO Aaron Levie (right) wrote that Trump’s measures are ‘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’

An Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider: ‘Preventing high skilled professionals from entering the country and contributing to America’s economic recovery puts America’s global competitiveness at risk.’

CEO of Alphabet – Google’s parent company – Sundar Pichai tweeted: ‘Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today.’ 

Box founder and CEO Aaron Levie wrote that Trump’s measures are ‘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.’

Twitter’s vice president of public policy Jessica Herrera-Flanigan added: ‘This proclamation undermines America’s greatest economic asset: its diversity. 

Twitter's vice president of public policy Jessica Herrera-Flanigan (pictured) added: 'This proclamation undermines America's greatest economic asset: its diversity'

Twitter’s vice president of public policy Jessica Herrera-Flanigan (pictured) added: ‘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.’

Facebook said the visa freeze could slow the US economy’s recover post-coronavirus, telling NBC: ‘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.’ 

The ban on new visas applies to H-1B visas, H-2B visas for nonagricultural seasonal workers, J-1 visas for exchange students and L-1 visas for managers of multinational corporations.

Google and file-sharing company Box were among the leading tech firms who slammed Donald Trump's latest immigration crackdown

Google and file-sharing company Box were among the leading tech firms who slammed Donald Trump’s latest immigration crackdown

A senior official who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity estimated the restrictions will free up to 525,000 jobs for Americans. 

There will be exemptions for food processing workers, which make up about 15 per cent of H-2B visas, the official said. 

Health care workers assisting with the coronavirus fight will continue to be spared from the green-card freeze, though their exemption will be narrower.

Trump extended a 60-day ban on green cards issued abroad in April, which was set to expire on Monday.

The freezes on visas issued abroad are designed to take effect immediately. 

Other changes, including restrictions on work permits for asylum-seekers, will go through a formal rule-making process that takes months.

The administration is proposing a new way of awarding H-1B visas, which are capped at 85,000 a year and used by Indian technology giants as well as companies like Amazon, Microsoft and Apple, the official said. 

The administration wants to award them by highest salary instead of by lottery.

The official stressed the H1-B visa freeze was temporary while the program is restructured, from an annual lottery that feeds coders and other specialists to Silicon Valley, to a system the gives priority to those foreign workers with the most value. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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