Almost all the U.S. tech firms, from Google to Amazon, Twitter and Facebook have condemned the latest visa ban announced by President Donald Trump.
They said the freeze would make the US less competitive.
Trump on Monday banned new H-1B visas, used by major companies to bring over highly-skilled engineers from abroad.
Around 18,000 H1-B visas were given to Google and Apple last year.
Trump said he did it to create jobs for Americans hurting economically due to the pandemic.
However, the tech companies said the policy was a bad one.
Amazon said the measures ‘put America’s global competitiveness at risk’.
The CEO of file-sharing firm Box dubbed it ‘unbelievably bad policy’.
A Facebook spokesperson said it will be even more difficult’ for the US to recover after coronavirus because of the measures.
An Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider: ‘Preventing high skilled professionals from entering the country and contributing to America’s economic recovery puts America’s global competitiveness at risk.’
CEO of Alphabet – Google’s parent company – Sundar Pichai tweeted: ‘Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today.
“Disappointed by today’s proclamation – we’ll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all.”
Box founder and CEO Aaron Levie wrote that Trump’s measures are ‘unbelievably bad policy on every level. It will only mean more jobs move outside the US, and in no way makes America better or more competitive.’
Reports said that the country most hit by the ban is India.
Indians take up nearly 70% of the 85,000 H-1B visas issued every year. And the ban is expected to hurt Indian technology companies and workers.
The visa is useful for Indian tech giants like Wipro, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) as it allows them to send workers from India to manage important projects.
It also helps US tech giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter hire talent from India.
The ban announced by Mr Trump will only affect individuals who are planning to apply for the visa – which means those who have already got it and are working in the US will not be affected.
However, H-1B visa holders who travelled to their home countries due to the pandemic will not be allowed to re-enter the US until the end of the year.