Google’s Sundar Pichai, Facebook and Amazon — here’s how American companies reacted to Donald Trump’s H1-B visa freeze

Google’s Sundar Pichai, Facebook and Amazon — here’s how American companies reacted to Donald Trump’s H1-B visa freeze
Alphabet CEO Sundar PichaiBCCL

  • US’ Silicon Valley doesn’t agree with US President Donald Trump’s new order to extend the suspension of H1-B visas till the end of 2020.
  • The order has drawn harsh criticism from Google’s Sundar Pichai, Twitter and even e-commerce giant Amazon.
  • The technology giants in the Silicon Valley believe this is the wrong move at the wrong time and could make a bad situation even worse.
Google, Apple, Facebook and other giants of the Silicon Valley aren’t happy with US President’s Donald Trump’s decision to extend the suspension of the tech industry favorite visa, the H-1B, till the end of 2020.

“Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success making it a global leader in tech and also Google, the company that it is today,” said Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, an immigrant himself, on Twitter.

Complimentary Tech Event
Transform talent with learning that works
Capability development is critical for businesses who want to push the envelope of innovation.Discover how business leaders are strategizing around building talent capabilities and empowering employee transformation.Know More

Silicon Valley’s technology companies have relied heavily on the H-1B visa for years, pushing the government to expand the current annual cap of 85,000 new visas in order to accrue the world’s top talent.

"This proclamation undermines America’s greatest economic asset: its diversity,” said Twitter’s spokesperson.

Even e-commerce giant Amazon was at par with other technology companies for a change stating, "We oppose the Administration's short-sighted action."

"Welcoming the best and the brightest global talent to the U.S. is more important than ever, and we will continue to support efforts that will preserve their ability to strengthen our economy," the company told Business Insider.

Silicon Valley believes is the wrong move — at the wrong time
The Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC), a high-profile lobby group for large technology companies including Silicon Valley giants Apple, Facebook, Google, HP, Oracle and Salesforce, are urging Trump to reconsider.

“At a critical time for the U.S. economy, it will have a dangerous impact on the economic recovery and growth for years to come,” it said in a statement.

Linda Moore, the CEO of TechNet — another industry group from the Silicon Valley that represents major firms like Apple, Google, Facebook, Cisco, HP, Oracle, Uber and Zoom — said, “This will slow innovation and undermine the work the technology industry is doing to help our country recover from unprecedented events.”

BSA — also known as the Software Alliance — points out having access to foreign talents supports 14.4 million jobs and contributes $1.6 trillion in the total value-added GDP of the US every year. “The software industry, as well as companies in other sectors of the economy that employ highly-skilled foreign workers, rely on nonimmigrant visa programs, including H-1B, to recruit for select positions that are critical for their businesses,” it said.

In 2020, Facebook has been approved for 666 new and extended H-1B visas for its office in Menlo Park, according to data from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Google received approval of 824 new and extended visas for its offices in Mountain View. Whereas Apple’s Cupertino offices has obtained approval of 670 new and extended H-1B visas.

Trump signs a proclamation halting H-1B work visas and other temporary visas

200,000 H1-B visa holders hope US will extend status to September as June deadline comes to a close

More than 184,000 Indians applied for H1B visa for FY20-21 says US