Tech companies includes Google, FB, Microsoft, join lawsuit against new student visa rule

More than a dozen top American technology companies, such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft, on Monday joined a lawsuit filed by the Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) newest principle that bars international students from staying at the USA unless they attend at least one in-person course.

Seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction, these firms, together with the US Chamber of Commerce and other IT advocacy groups, asserted that the July 6 ICE directive will disrupt their recruitment plans, making it impossible to bring on board international students that companies, including amici, had planned to employ, and disturb the recruiting process on which the firms have relied on to identify and train their prospective workers.

The July 6 directive can make it impossible for a large number of international students to take part in the CPT and OPT programmes; these graduates away to work for our international competitors and compete against us; instead of capitalizing on the investment in their own education here in the US”, they stated.

The Curricular Practical Training (CPT) programme enables “alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education or other type of required internship or practicum offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with a student’s school”.

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On the other hand, the Optional Practical Training (OPT) programme allows up to one year of temporary employment that is directly associated with an global student’s important area of research, which may occur either prior to the student graduates or following his research are complete. Pupils in STEM fields can get a two-year expansion of their post-graduate OPT, ” they stated.

Closing off more than half of all international students from engaging in the recruitment pipeline for American companies will consequently harm companies and the whole market, and disrupt reliance expectations based on previous policies permitting international students to remain in the united states, the companies said.

Asserting that international students contribute substantially to the US economy when they reside in the United States, the legal brief said that the death of these students threatens the ability of US educational institutions to sustain critical mass — they need so as to keep their standards of excellence, to train the American students who will compose the talent pool available to amici and other US companies in the long run, and to perform the research that keeps US businesses on the cutting edge of innovation.

“International students are an essential source of workers for US companies while they are students and after they graduate. Finally, they become valuable employees and customers of US businesses whether they stay in the United States or return to their home states,” the companies said.

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As stated by the IT companies, international students residing in the US make a significant contribution to the nation’s GDP and have an especially important impact in cities and towns where schools and universities are located.

During the 2018-2019 academic years, there were more than 10 lakh such students attending institutions of higher education in america.

Decreasing by half or more the amount of international students living in the United States — for one school year — will hurt the market, amplifying the negative financial effects of the ongoing pandemic. International students donate billions of dollars to the US economy every year.

In the 2018-2019 academic year alone, “international students at US universities and colleges contributed almost USD 41 billion into the US economy and encouraged 458,290 jobs”, the companies stated.

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Discovering that for every seven international students living in the US, three jobs are supported due to their presence, the companies said global education “ranked as the nation’s fifth-largest service export” in 2019. Small businesses — from coffee shops to bookstores — in communities around the country benefit significantly from the presence of international students, they stated.

The companies told the courtroom that if those students are barred from studying in the US until the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic ends, a number of them will not return: they will switch to programmes of research elsewhere on the planet. And without international students, most of the US STEM programmes will contract sharply and ultimately cease to exist.

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