Microsoft has often been at odds with the Trump Administration over several of the president's law changes. The company is potentially charting a course for a direct clash with the government. Microsoft's Chief Legal Officer, Brad Smith, says the company may move jobs outside the United States.
Smith says decisions being made by the government are forcing Microsoft's hands. However, the corporate vice-president insists the company does not want to take that action but is running out of options.
Microsoft's decision would come if the Trump administration continues to go after immigrants. Smith says the company relies on skills of foreign workers. If they are removed from the United States, the company may have to move jobs outside the country.
Smith has been a consistent critic of the government's actions, specifically the decision to stop Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). He has also criticized the administration's plans to roll back a law that allows spouses who have a non-immigrant H-1B visa to find paid work.
Another Trump plans that has come under fire revolves around immigrant educations. The government wants to repeal a law allowing international science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) graduates from U.S. universities to continue working in the country.
In an interview, Brad Smith said:
“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. We're going to stand behind them. In the world of technology you better stand behind your people because your people are your most valuable asset.”
Smith says the company's development location in Vancouver can be a “bit of a safety valve”. The executive says if workers are forced out of the United States they can be relocated to the Canadian center.