The order even blocks employees from being transferred to the American offices of their own companies.
Green card holders are not currently affected by the new order, but the administration says the immigration restriction order will leave 525,000 vacancies in 2020.
Tech firms are resisting the trump administration after the President issued an order suspending the issuance of many types of work visas that allow highly skilled workers with families to enter the US and work for us technology companies.
This information updates and expands on an earlier order issued in April.
Both the April and June orders claim that hiring employees from other countries at this time would put the United States at an economic disadvantage, while the country is trying to recover from massive job losses related to COVID-19. The new order extends existing restrictions on immigration to the United States until at least the end of the year, and also prohibits the issuance of several categories of non-immigrant work visas at the end of 2020. Visas that are currently restricted include types H-1B, which apply to highly skilled workers with higher education; H-2B, which applies to temporary workers in non-agricultural industries; J, which applies to exchange visitors (educational and professional); and L, which applies to individuals moving to work for companies they already work for.
This order does not apply to those who already hold a green card, who are the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen, or whose entry would be “in the national interest” as defined by the state Department or Department of homeland security, including medical professionals involved in COVID-19 research or treatment. Agricultural workers who temporarily enter the country are also exempt from paying taxes. The order applies only to new visas and does not apply to those who have already received permission for the corresponding visa or are already in the States.
The H1-B program is limited to 85,000 visas a year, and major American technology firms are actively competing to hire foreign workers through this program. Google alone applied for more than 7,600 H-1B visas in fiscal year 2019, according to Federal data compiled by the recruitment firm Dice.
“Immigrants not only contributed to technological breakthroughs and created new businesses and jobs, but also enriched American life, “a Google spokesperson said in response to the new Executive order.” America’s Continued success depends on companies having access to the best talent from around the world. Especially now, when we need this talent to contribute to America’s economic recovery.”
Tech rivals Amazon and Facebook also shared the view that cutting off the channel for international talent would hinder rather than help the US economic recovery.
“We oppose the administration’s shortsighted actions,” Amazon said bluntly. “The value of highly qualified visa programs is clear, and we are grateful to the many Amazon employees from around the world who have come to the US to introduce new products and services to our customers.”
“Trying to keep highly skilled talent outside the US will make rebuilding our country even more difficult,” Facebook said in a statement. “Highly qualified visa holders play a crucial role in driving innovation — at Facebook and in organizations across the country-and this is something we should encourage, not restrict.”
Major industry trade groups, including the Internet Association and the information technology industry Council, also condemned the administration’s move.
Although all major American firms hire workers on H-1B guest worker visas, this program has not been without controversy. A February report by OneZero showed that many employees working for us firms on H-1B visas experience additional pressure, discrimination or fear at work because of their immigration status. “I believe that H-1B employees tend to put up with more crap from managers because they can’t move to another company so easily, and they can’t just lose their temper,” one onezero employee said.