President Donald Trump's latest executive order spells trouble for the tech industry and Google is now recalling its staff back to the United States.
It's no big secret that Trump has a firm and highly controversial stance on immigration and visas and the new immigration order could have a tremendous negative impact.
Google Recalls Overseas Staff
The tech industry often hires global talent under a working visa, but the immigration order poses a great threat. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has now issued a memo to employees that are currently outside of the United States, urging them to return immediately while they still can. Otherwise, they risk not being able to enter the country at all.
"It's painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues," Pichai notes in the memo, as cited by Bloomberg. "We've always made our view on immigration issues known publicly and will continue to do so."
Bloomberg points out that the memo addresses Google employees who work in the United States, but are currently out of the country either on business or for leisure. Many of them reportedly tried to return to the United States before Trump signed the order, but some did not make it back in time.
Trump Immigration Order
For those unfamiliar with the matter, Trump's immigration order bans nearly all citizens from Sudan, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen from entering the United States in the next 90 days. The Trump Administration thinks Sudan, Iran and Syria are promoting terrorism, while the others are considered "countries of concern."
A number of companies had already vowed to oppose Trump's so-called Muslim registry, but it seems that a ban on immigration from these seven nations still materialized. It remains to be seen how things will unfold after the 90 days pass.
The 90-day period is for assessing whether the governments of these majority-Muslim countries on the ban list are requesting enough details from visa applicants so that the United States gets extensive background data to determine whether they pose threats of terrorism.
It Has Begun
According to a report from the New York Daily News, however, it seems that valid visa and green card holders have already been banned from boarding flights to the United States, just hours after Trump signed the immigration order.
Google employees in these countries risk getting stuck there, unable to fly back to the United States, so the company encourages staff to reach out to the Google travel, security and immigration teams for help.
Immigration attorney Ava Benach tells Bloomberg that it's anyone's guess now whether a green card holder from one of the seven banned countries could come back home to the United States.
"It's fairly clear that an H-1B visa holder can't," Benach points out.
Google is not the only one to publicly voice its stance on Trump's executive order. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also spoke out against the order, expressing his concern and urging authorities to keep the country safe by focusing on those who actually pose a threat.
Both Pichai and Zuckerberg share the same view that Trump's immigration order could severely restrict companies' ability to bring valuable talent to the United States.