Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Linkedin, Paypal and multiple other tech companies on Monday, 13 July, joined hands with MIT and Harvard in their fight against the Trump Administration’s new visa rule.
This latest visa rule, once implemented, could impact thousands of Indian students, as well as students from other countries who are presently in the US on an F-1 or an M-1 visa.
The tech giants filed a brief in a Massachusetts court on Monday, in support of a lawsuit by Harvard and MIT.
The universities, through their lawsuit, had urged the federal judge to block the new rule which would deport international students in the US if their courses go online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
American Talent Pool Depends Heavily on International Students
The companies argued that the Donald Trump administration’s “6 July directive” will inflict significant harm on their businesses by both decreasing their customer base, as well as by hampering their ability to recruit top talent.
They also stated that, according to a study, “more than half of the international students studying in the United States – over 575,000 people – could have their education interrupted, and might be unable to complete their degrees.”
The companies in their brief pointed out:
"“In its 2019 interim report to Congress, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence stated that “[t]he American [Artificial Intelligence] talent pool depends heavily on international students and workers. Our global competitiveness hinges on our ability to attract and retain top minds from around the world.”"
Further the companies insisted that this move will have consequences on the economy of the United States, and the Homeland Security was yet to address the economic consequences.
Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, also tweeted his reason for signing the amicus brief.
COVID-19 has thrown universities and students into a state of uncertainty. We need to give all students – including those who’ve come to the US from abroad to learn – flexibility during this pandemic. That’s why we signed today’s amicus brief.— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) July 13, 2020
India’s Ministry of External Affairs had also said on Thursday, 9 July that they have shared their concerns about this new rule with their counterpart in the US.
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