Tech giants face legal challenge for restrictions on Trump’s foreign workers

Small toy figures are seen for the diplayed Amazon logo in this illustration taken March 19, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top US tech companies including Inc (AMZN.O) and Facebook Inc (FB.O) on Monday submitted a legal letter in support of a challenge to US President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on the entry of certain foreign workers to maintain jobs for Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

In short, filed in a lawsuit in California brought by large American business associations, the companies claimed that the visa restrictions would hurt American companies, lead employers to hire workers outside the United States, and further damage the already difficult US economy. .

Trump issued a presidential proclamation in June that stopped the entry of a range of foreign workers until the end of the year, a move his administration said would free up jobs for unemployed Americans amid the economic fallout. and pandemic.

Among those affected by the temporary ban are skilled foreign workers applying for H-1B visas and managers and specialized workers who are transferred to a company on L-visa – both types of visas used by tech companies . Trump’s ban also blocks seasonal workers entering H-2B visas, with one exception for workers in chains for food supply.

Submitted on Monday, the companies claimed that Trump’s statement could do irreparable damage to US businesses, workers and the economy, and was based on a “false assumption” that it would protect American workers.

“Global competitors in Canada, China and India, among others, are punching at the opportunity to attract well-educated, innovative individuals,” reads the brief. “And American companies are scrambling to adapt, hiring the necessary talent to work in locations outside our nation’s borders.”

Apple (AAPL.O), Microsoft (MSFT.O), Netflix (NFLX.O) and Twitter (TWTR.N) were among 52 companies that signed the brief, which was filed in a lawsuit brought by the National Association of Manufacturers, representing 14,000 member companies, as well as in a similar lawsuit in Washington, DC.

Report by Ted Hesson in Washington, Edited by Rosalba O’Brien and Nick Zieminski

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