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Amazon, Google, Facebook take aim at Trump visa ban

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Reuters
Published
Jun 23, 2020
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U.S. 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.


Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos - Photo: Reuters



Trump issued a presidential proclamation that temporarily blocks foreign workers entering on H-1B visas for skilled employees, and L visas, for managers and specialized workers being transferred within a company.

He also blocked those entering on H-2B seasonal worker visas, used by landscapers and other industries.

The visa suspension, which takes effect on Wednesday until the end of the year, will open up 525,000 jobs for U.S. workers, a senior administration official said on a call with reporters.

But businesses including major tech companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the visa suspension would stifle the economic recovery after the damage done by the pandemic.

"Amazon opposes the Administration's short-sighted decision to pause high-skill visa programs. 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.

Microsoft, Tesla, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Google also released statements in opposition to the suspension.

Critics of the measure say Trump is using the pandemic to achieve his longstanding goal to limit immigration. The proclamation’s immediate effects are likely to be limited, as U.S. consulates around the world remain closed for most routine visa processing.

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