On Monday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily halting the issuance of all immigrant visas, including the popular H-1B work visa, for a period of 60 days.
The White House said that the move was necessary as Americans face a 13.3% unemployment rate amid pandemic-induced lockdowns across the country.
Visa holders already in the country and applicants who have already received a visa are exempt from the order, but all new applications will be on hold for at least the next 60 days.
The Trump administration told the Wall Street Journal that the move was intended to protect American jobs, but the tech industry in the past has bristled at the administration's attempts to curtail the visas, a key source of talent for the industry.
The responses from top leaders in the tech community such as Alphabet CEO (GOOGL) - Get Report Sundar Pichai, Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report CEO Satya Nadella, Apple (AAPL) - Get Report CEO Tim Cook and Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report CEO Elon Musk have been vocal.
Pichai received his H-1B work visa after coming to the U.S. on a student visa.
Nadella, who famously traded in his green card for an H-1B visa in order to legally bring his new wife over from India, retweeted the sentiments of Microsoft president Brad Smith.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who emigrated to Canada from South Africa when he was a teen, also voiced his concerns.
Andrew Ng, co-founder of online education provider Coursera and a former H-1B recipient, was also against the executive order.