For immediate release
M1PR Joins Engine and startups to push the White House to reconsider suspension of work visas
July 10, 2020
Donald J. Trump
President of the United States The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Trump:
We represent a range of companies and organizations in the technology sector that depend on access to the best and most qualified employees. We are concerned that your administration’s recent decision to suspend new H-1B and other non-immigrant visas through the end of the year will needlessly put American startups at risk of falling behind international competitors and make it less likely that financially strapped companies survive the economic fallout from COVID-19. Only with access to a global pool of talent can companies and entrepreneurs advance new technologies and keep America at the forefront of global innovation.
Immigrants are a vital component of American society—more than half of the most successful startups have immigrant founders or co-founders —and H-1B workers in particular are critical contributors to the U.S. technology industry. They bolster the ability of American companies to compete across the globe and help our industry drive economic growth.
Welcoming H-1B visa holders into the U.S. does not take jobs away from American workers. Rather, these high-skilled workers complement and strengthen our workforce. They bolster innovation, create new jobs and employment opportunities, and contribute to the development of critically needed technologies. Preventing American tech companies from hiring needed talent will limit the ability of many of these firms to grow and recover from the pandemic’s economic fallout.
Halting the H-1B program and other non-immigrant visas may also drive jobs out of the country as companies choose to shift operations to countries with better access to the labor force they desperately need. Instead of perpetuating unfounded concerns that high-skilled visaholders are displacing American workers, the government should focus on assisting industries that are prioritizing U.S. innovation on a global scale with the assistance of high-skilled talent. That way, these industries can continue to drive growth and job creation, as we as a nation navigate the path to economic recovery.
We urge you to reconsider the suspension of these critical visa programs and instead focus on recovery solutions that support startups and the technology industry, like improving access to capital for companies struggling to stay afloat amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We welcome the opportunity to contribute to developing solutions that help these companies continue to be a source of economic growth for the nation.
1 Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, COVID-19 can’t be used as an excuse to limit skilled immigration, Fortune (May 28, 2020), https://fortune.com/2020/05/28/trump-h1b-optional-practical-training-immigration 2 Jonathan Shieber, President Trump signs executive order temporarily suspending work visas for H-1B holders, TechCrunch (June 22, 2020), https://techcrunch.com/2020/06/22/president-trump-reportedly-will-sign-executive-order-temporarily-suspending-w ork-visas-for-h-1b-holders
Mark Meadows, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff: Mark.R.Meadows@who.eop.gov Brooke Rollins, Acting Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and Director of Domestic Policy Council: Brooke.L.Rollins@who.eop.gov
Jared Kushner, Assistant to the President, Director of Office of American Innovation, and Senior Advisor for Office of the Chief of Staff: Jared.C.Kushner@who.eop.gov
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