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Leonid Bershidsky

Tech's Fight Against Trump's Travel Ban Is a Matter of Survival

Immigrant creativity is what has created America's innovation edge, and what will maintain it in the future.
"Google is with you" -- CEO Sundar Pichai.

"Google is with you" -- CEO Sundar Pichai.

Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Few tech workers come from the seven countries affected by President Donald Trump's entry ban. But the 97 U.S. companies, most of them from the tech sector, that lent their support to the state of Washington's lawsuit aiming to block Trump's executive order, have good reasons to fight it every step of the way. 

Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen aren't huge sources of tech talent, at least according to the imperfect gauge provided by the H-1B visa statistics. This visa type is often used by tech companies to hire engineers. In 2015, only 254 people from the seven countries received such visas, and that number doesn't include a single Somali or Yemeni citizen. Poland alone provided 252 H-1B workers that year, while India, the undisputed champion, sent almost 120,000 such workers to the U.S.