Entertainment Software Association (ESA) speaks out against Trump visa freeze

US video games trade body the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has spoken out about President Donald Trump’s executive order that places a freeze on non-immigrant visas.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, the organisation said immigration is vital to the health of the American economy, which needs to bounce back following the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Trump signed the executive order on Monday, June 22nd, with the president saying that temporary workers – coming to the US under the H-1B visa – pose a threat to American workers. This came into effect on Wednesday, June 24th and will be in force until December 31st of this year.

Entertainment Software Association - Game Podcast - Games Podcasts - Video Game Podcast -
Entertainment Software Association – Game Podcast – Games Podcasts – Video Game Podcast –

An undermining declaration

“The nation’s immigration system is inextricably linked to the US economy across numerous sectors, including healthcare, engineering, technology and interactive entertainment,” an ESA rep said.

“The executive order limiting immigration undermines reasonable solutions to end the current economic crisis, stabilise our economy and help people return to work.”

Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford also chimed in, saying that the measure will negatively impact American culture.

“The H-1B decision is impossible to support from any reasonable perspective,” he said. “The anti-immigration decision will not create new jobs for citizens, but will eliminate one of America’s greatest strengths – our ability to attract and immigrate the best talent in the world to join us in the American Dream. Imagine our USA without Albert Einstein, Joseph Pulitzer, Bob Marley, Levi Strauss or Audrey Hepburn. I cannot.”

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