At first, President Trump’s immigration order looked like it would mostly affect refugees from seven majority Muslim nations (which itself is shameful). The order is so sweeping, however, that it also includes any green card and visa holders from these countries. So if you were a citizen of these countries (Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan. Libya, Yemen and Somalia) and had the bad luck of being outside of the U.S. at the time the order went into effect, you’re now barred from entering the country for at least the next 90 days. Unsurprisingly, that’s already affecting the employees of many of the largest tech companies, which tend to draw from a global talent pool.
Update: according to Reuters, government officials now argue that green card holders from the seven countries included in the ban “have to be cleared into U.S. on case-by-case basis.”
We know that Google already recalled its employees from abroad — though chances are the alert came too late to allow anybody to travel back to the U.S. in time.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, too, yesterday noted in a Facebook post that he is “concerned about the impact of the recent executive orders signed by President Trump” though he also added that he was “glad” that Trump was willing “to ‘work something out’ for Dreamers” and that the President “believes our country should continue to benefit from ‘people of great talent coming into the country.’”
We reached out to a number of the biggest U.S.-based tech companies for comment about how they are reacting to this situation. Most have not responded yet, but Microsoft told us that it is already providing legal assistance to its employees affected by this: “We share the concerns about the impact of the executive order on our employees from the listed countries, all of whom have been in the United States lawfully, and we’re actively working with them to provide legal advice and assistance.”
We will update this post as we receive more comments.
It’s worth noting that a number of other tech CEOs have also been outspoken about the ban. Box CEO Aaron Levie, for example, took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with the ban.
“We’re very much against the ban and will be working to both protect our employees but also work to make it clear that this is unacceptable and fight it however possible,” Levie told us in an email.