Tech giant Microsoft is considering shifting jobs outside of the U.S. over President Trump’s immigration policies.
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The company’s blog, citing an interview President Brad Smith did with CNBC, said that because the company hires foreign workers for tech jobs, the administration’s moves to change two specific measures may “force” Microsoft to transfer jobs. Those two potential modifications are to a rule that allows spouses of people with non-immigrant H-1B visas to work and a rule allowing international students to work while applying for a visa. The administration has already effected some changes to the latter policy, but further changes could ultimately make up Microsoft’s mind.
“We don’t want to move jobs out of the United States and we hope that we don’t see decision making in Washington that would force us to do that … We’re not going to cut people loose,” Smith told CNBC. “In the world of technology you better stand behind your people because your people are your most valuable asset.”
Smith said “hundreds” of jobs were at stake in the U.S. as the administration weighed altering its stance on key immigration issues.
Recently, some prominent tech leaders – including Apple’s Tim Cook and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg – spoke out against the administration’s policy on separating families at the border, which has since been altered. More than 100 employees at Microsoft wrote a letter to CEO Satya Nadella protesting the company’s work with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the time.