Headlines July 15, 2020
Major US tech companies join lawsuit against new visa rule
More than 12 top American technology companies, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft have joined a lawsuit filed by the Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology against the a new immigration rule in the United States that bars international students from staying in the country unless they attend at least one in-person course.
These companies have asserted that the directive will disrupt their hiring plans and make it impossible to bring into the country international students that companies need. They say it will also disrupt the hiring process on which companies rely to identify and train their future employees.
The directive, issued on 6 July, will make it impossible for a large number of international students to participate in many programmes.
The companies say that international students contribute substantially to the US economy when they live in the US. It says their departure will affect the ability of US educational institutions to sustain the numbers needed to maintain their standards of excellence and to perform the research that keeps US businesses at the top of innovation.
“International students are an important source of employees for US businesses while they are students and after they graduate. Finally, they become valuable employees and customers of US businesses whether they remain in the United States or return to their home countries,” the companies said.
Reducing the number of international students living in the US by half or more, they say, will hurt the economy and worsen the economic effects of the ongoing pandemic.
The companies told the court that if these students are barred from studying in the US until the pandemic ends, many of them will not return. They will switch to programmes elsewhere in the world. Without international students, many of the programmes in the US will ultimately cease to exist.