Tech companies slam Trump’s executive order restricting work visas

Photo: Christina @ wocintechchat.com/Unsplash
Photo: Christina @ wocintechchat.com/Unsplash (Photo: Christina @ wocintechchat.com/Unsplash)

(CNN) – Silicon Valley is pushing back against President Donald Trump's latest immigration curbs, this time targeting visa programs that tech companies use to bring in thousands of skilled foreign worker.

Trump signed an executive order on Monday expanding restrictions on several work visas until at least the end of this year, including the L-1 visa that allows companies to transfer employees from overseas offices and the H-1B program for workers in specialty occupations.

Both visas are popular with the United States' tech giants, and many were quick to condemn the executive order.

"Immigration has contributed immensely to America's economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said on Twitter. "Disappointed by today's proclamation — we'll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all," he added.

Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, Twitter's head of public policy and philanthropy for the Americas, said the policy would end up hurting the US economy.

"This proclamation undermines America's greatest economic asset: its diversity," Herrera-Flanigan said in a statement. "Unilaterally and unnecessarily stifling America's attractiveness to global, high-skilled talent is short-sighted and deeply damaging to the economic strength of the United States."

The new restrictions will take effect on June 24. The Migration Policy Institute, a think tank in Washington, DC, estimated that they would block 219,000 temporary workers.

The executive order claimed that restricting immigration will help the US economy recover from the shock of the coronavirus pandemic, an idea Amazon pushed back against.