Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, 52 others denounce Trump visa restrictions

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Apple, Facebook and Microsoft are among the 52 companies and organizations in a court filing denouncing Donald Trump administration restrictions on employment-based visas, saying that the action “fundamentally disserves the interests of the United States by stifling the ability of U.S. businesses to attract the world’s best talent, drive innovation, and further American economic prosperity.”

In late June, the White House introduced a series of new restrictions on visas that allow immigrants to temporarily work in the United States, arguing that the rollback was a result of high unemployment from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Amazon, Netflix and Twitter also signed on to the court brief.

The visas included are L-1 visas for intra-company transfers, H-1Bs for workers in specialty occupations as well as the H-4 visa for spouses, H-2Bs for temporary non-agricultural workers and most J-1 visas for exchange visitors. Many companies depend on these visas to bring in foreign workers.

In an amicus brief filed Monday, those companies warned of the repercussions in barring foreign workers from coming to the US.

“Already global competitors in Canada, China, and India, among others, are pouncing at the opportunity to attract well-trained, innovative individuals,” they wrote. “And American businesses are scrambling to adjust, hiring needed talent to work in locations outside our nation’s borders. The Proclamation did not consider these costs.”

The amicus brief is part of an ongoing lawsuit challenging the June proclamation which put restrictions in place until the end of 2020.

One of the key figures behind the push to limit immigration is Stephen Miller, Trump’s lead immigration adviser and the architect of the President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration agenda.

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Citing the pandemic, the administration has pressed forward with a series of immigration measures that, prior to coronavirus, had struggled to break through. Among those changes is the closure of the southern border to migrants, including those seeking asylum, unless certain conditions are met.

Companies, like Apple, have previously criticized this administration’s immigration actions. Last year, for example, Apple came out in support of recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

 

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