Amazon, Apple, and Facebook say President Trump’s guest worker ban will ‘harm US workers’

Some of the US’s largest tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft, are speaking out against Trump’s suspension of guest worker visas. In an amicus brief filed Monday, the companies argue the new restrictions could dramatically affect how the country’s economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

“The President’s suspension of nonimmigrant visa programs, supposedly to ‘protect’ American workers, actually harms those workers, their employers, and the economy,” the amicus reads.

In June, President Donald Trump issued a proclamation suspending guest worker entry into the US in response to the unprecedented unemployment levels caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Immigration officials were ordered to deny entry stamps to individuals with a range of guest worker visas, including H-1Bs, a type of visa many foreign-born tech workers operate under in the US. In July, the US Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of trade groups sued the Trump administration over its guest worker ban, and nearly 50 companies, organizations, and trade associations filed an amicus brief Monday in support of the suit.

In the brief, companies like Facebook, Netflix, Adobe, Reddit, GitHub, Paypal, and Amazon argue that the “indiscriminate suspension of these crucial nonimmigrant visas programs does not further the interests of the United States.” Specifically, the companies claimed that Trump’s proclamation “will stifle innovation, hinder growth, and ultimately harm US workers, businesses, and the economy more broadly in irreparable ways.”

“Slashing legal immigration avenues will inflict serious long-term damage to our economic stability, recovery and growth, particularly as the U.S. economy attempts to rebuild from the devastation of the COVID-19 crisis,” Todd Schulte, president of FWD.us, an amicus signatory, said in a statement Monday. “The future of our nation’s economic security and growth stems from the contributions of hardworking immigrants — not from scapegoating the very population that for centuries has been a cornerstone of our country’s economic engine.”

Shortly after Trump signed the proclamation in June, tech companies like Apple and Google came out in opposition of the move.

“Immigrants have not only fueled technological breakthroughs and created new businesses and jobs but have also enriched American life,” said Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda said in June. “America’s continued success depends on companies having access to the best talent from around the world. Particularly now, we need that talent to help contribute to America’s economic recovery.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook said that he was “deeply disappointed” by the guest worker ban. “Like Apple, this nation of immigrants has always found strength in our diversity, and hope in the enduring promise of the American Dream,” Cook tweeted in June.

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