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President Donald Trump's Jan. 27 executive order temporarily restricting immigration from seven countries has created confusion and uncertainty for employers and the foreign nationals they employ. The order banned nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days in order to review screening procedures for immigrants and refugees.
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Kim Thompson, a partner in the Atlanta office of law firm Fisher Phillips, told
SHRM Online she is advising all employers to suspend all work-related international travel for employees from the affected countries. "You should encourage them to remain in the United States and to indefinitely postpone any personal travel plans outside of the United States if possible, even if they have a valid H-1B visa or green card."
She also advised employers of foreign nationals not covered in the order to consider postponing visa appointments based on the suspension of the visa interview waiver program, which was also in the president's executive order. "We anticipate visa wait times will significantly increase," Thompson said. "If a visa application is necessary, you should be prepared for your employees to remain outside of the United States for an extended period of time."
Executive Order Sows Confusion
The order impacts foreign nationals with employment-based visas and foreign temporary guest workers who were outside the U.S. when the order became effective, including workers returning from travel abroad, or who were on the way to the U.S. to begin work.
(The Washington Post)
The executive order has already come under legal review. Federal judges in three states issued separate rulings that blocked the deportation of foreign nationals detained at U.S. airports immediately following the order.
Tech Sector Speaks Out Against Order
Silicon Valley executives expressed their concern about the ban.
DHS Clarifies Status of Green Card Holders
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a press release late Sunday stating that the order would not affect legal permanent residents, or green card holders.
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