• May 18, 2024

HAPPENING NOW: Google Tells Offshore Staff to Immediately Return to the US After Trump Executive Order

 HAPPENING NOW: Google Tells Offshore Staff to Immediately Return to the US After Trump Executive Order

BERLIN, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 26: A visitor passes the Google logo on September 26, 2012 at the official opening party of the Google offices in Berlin, Germany. Although the American company holds 95% of the German search engine market share and already has offices in Hamburg and Munich, its new offices on the prestigious Unter den Linden avenue are its first in the German capital. The Internet giant has been met with opposition in the country recently by the former president’s wife, who has sued it based on search results for her name that she considers derogative. The European Commission has planned new data privacy regulations in a country where many residents opted in to have their homes pixeled out when the company introduced its Street View technology. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)

As Mashable reported: President Donald Trump’s “Muslim ban” is causing fear and chaos among immigrants everywhere — even at Google.

As immigrants, visa holders and refugees tried frantically to make it into the United States after Trump signed an executive order banning entry to the U.S. from seven majority Muslim countries on Friday, Google moved to protect its own staff.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai told staffers that more than 100 employees were affected by the ban and ordered all affected employees who were abroad to return stateside immediately, Bloomberg reported.

“It’s painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues,” Pichai wrote in a memo to Google staff obtained by Bloomberg. “We’ve always made our view on immigration issues known publicly and will continue to do so.”

Trump’s order prohibits entry into the United States for 90 days for people from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Libya. Refugees who have been approved to enter the U.S., valid visa holders and longtime permanent residents with green-cards have all been detained and in some cases denied entry in the hours since the order was signed.

 The person asked not to be identified talking about internal company communications.

The employees in question normally work in the U.S. but just happened to be abroad either on work assignments or vacations. The concern is that even if Google staff have valid visas, they may still be at risk if they’re from one of the seven countries and they’re outside the U.S. when the order kicks in, the person also said.

One employee rushed back from a trip to New Zealand to make it into the U.S. before the order was signed, Google’s Pichai wrote in his memo.

“We’re concerned about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that create barriers to bringing great talent to the U.S.,” a Google spokeswoman said in a statement. “We’ll continue to make our views on these issues known to leaders in Washington and elsewhere.”

The unexpected fallout and Google’s comments “underscore a growing rift between the Trump administration and several large U.S. technology companies, which include many immigrants in their ranks and have lobbied for fewer immigration restrictions. Pichai’s note echoed similar statements from tech peers voicing concerns about the harm such policies could have on their businesses.”

The Department of Homeland Security issued a directive on Friday afternoon ordering the Customs and Border Control agency to enforce the order, the New York Daily News reported. Late Friday, some green card and visa holders were already being blocked from boarding flights to the U.S., the newspaper said.

“We are advising our clients from those seven countries who have green cards or any type of H-1B visa not to travel outside the U.S.” said Ava Benach, a partner at immigration law firm Benach Collopy LLP, while noting that the order takes effect immediately. “No one is really sure whether a green card holder from these seven countries can return to the U.S. now. It’s fairly clear that an H-1B visa holder can’t,” Benach said. The H-1B lets U.S. companies employ graduate-level workers from other countries in technical occupations such as technology, engineering and science

 

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