TechNet President Linda Moore said the new White House policy would “slow innovation and undermine the work the technology industry is doing to help our country recover from unprecedented events.”
Many tech companies had lobbied for years to convince Trump to spare a raft of immigration programs he has since terminated or tried to limit. They supported lawsuits against the president’s earlier travel bans, for example, and vehemently opposed his effort to end the program known as DACA before the Supreme Court ultimately reversed it last week. Some top Silicon Valley executives, including Apple CEO Tim Cook, even have sought to appeal to Trump directly on immigration.
But the president’s order Monday amounts to a direct shot at the industry, which relies on H-1B visas to employ foreign engineers and H-4 visas to secure authorizations for their spouses.
“America’s continued success depends on companies having access to the best talent from around the world,” Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said in a statement. “Particularly now, we need that talent to help contribute to America’s economic recovery.”
Trump administration officials have defended the restrictions as a sensible measure to protect U.S. workers amid unemployment levels that are the highest since the Great Depression. The measures will be subject to review and modification every 60 days, according to the proclamation.