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Karen Shore holds up a sign outside of the 9th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017 (AP Photo/Jeff
Employers may continue to process immigration and travel for foreign national workers from the seven countries named in President Donald Trump's executive order limiting immigration. A federal appeals court unanimously denied the president's appeal to reinstate the ban.
Citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are free to enter the U.S. after a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel upheld Feb. 9 a lower federal court judge's nationwide temporary restraining order blocking the president's controversial executive order.
"The president will now appeal to the Supreme Court, as he confirmed via Twitter almost immediately after the court's ruling," said Julie Pearl, CEO and managing attorney of the
Pearl Law Group, based in the San Francisco Bay area. "The travel ban will not be reinstated for now unless the Supreme Court orders it so within the coming weeks."
For more information about Donald Trump's workplace policies and how they affect HR professionals, check out the SHRM resources provided below:
Visas that had been revoked by the order have been reinstated and visa processing at U.S. consulates around the world will be administered as normal—with travelers undergoing standard screening—as the merits of the executive order continue to be litigated.
"This situation continues to remain highly fluid with near-daily developments, so employers will want to remain up to speed with the case as its outcome could impact your workforce and require adjustments to your business practices," said Kim Thompson, a partner in the Atlanta office of
law firm Fisher Phillips and chair of the firm's Global Immigration Practice Group.
Thompson recommended that employers with affected employees outside the United States have those employees return to the U.S. as quickly as possible, however. "The legal status of the court order could change at any time so immediate action is essential."
[SHRM members-only toolkit:
Obtaining U.S. Employment Visas]
What Happens Next
The appellate court ruling focused on whether the president's order should be paused while the larger issues are weighed. It does not resolve the long-term uncertainty for employers and workers from the affected countries.
"The decision simply upholds the temporary restraining order issued by the federal court judge," Thompson said. "The parties will still litigate the matter at the U.S. District Court in Seattle to determine whether that restraining order should be transformed into a permanent injunction, adjusted in some manner, or scrapped altogether, and a return trip to the 9th Circuit seems possible as well."
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