The AI community has largely condemned President Trump's executive order extending a ban on certain immigrant work visas through the end of the year. The move, which specifically targets H-1B and H-2B visas and others, is expected to disproportionately affect the AI and tech industries, The Next Web reports.
- Immigrants make up two-thirds of all U.S. graduate students in AI-related fields, according to researcher Zachary Arnold.
- David Cox, IBM director of the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab, said there aren't enough U.S. citizens with the skills needed to drive AI advancements. He called the order a "massive blow to our national competitiveness."
- Coursera co-founder Andrew Ng, a former H1B visa holder, said the program's suspension is bad for the U.S. and innovation and will "shatter dreams and disrupt lives."
- Transformers creator Clément Delangue said the program allowed him to move to the U.S. to start Hugging Face, the chatbot developer and open-source library for NLP applications.
- AI researcher François Chollet argued that the motivation behind the executive order is not job creation but the skin color of the visa recipients.
- Elon Musk disagreed with the action and tweeted that the visa-holders “are net job creators.”
- Supporters of the visa ban say it prevents tech firms from outsourcing U.S. jobs to lower-paid foreign employees, while Trump argues it will help the economy recover by funneling jobs to American workers first.
- The ban is set to last through Dec. 31 and could be extended "as necessary," according to Silicon Valley-based immigration attorney Sophie Alcorn.