How Businesses Should Deal With Donald Trump's Visa Ban

“The tremendous impact of immigrants on America — and on American business — is not happenstance."

President Trump’s suspension of visas and placing of a ban on travel from seven Mideast countries where the United States has been fighting terrorism is not just affecting individuals, it’s also bad for business.

Particularly, the tech industry where giants Google, Apple and Facebook are being hard hit, because so much their own tech support talent originates in this region.

Although, a federal Judge in Seattle issued a temporary halt to the ban on Friday, the Trump administration is expected to fight the move in court.

The opinion issued by United State District Judge James Robart argues that the federal travel ban through Trump’s executive action “adversely” affects “areas of employment, education, business, family relations and freedom to travel.” Reversing the action, the suit concludes, is thereby in the public best interest.

“The law is a powerful thing — it has the ability to hold everybody accountable to it, and that includes the President of the United States,” Ferguson said during a press conference following the ruling Friday evening.

Ferguson had argued that the ban was not only unfair to those seeking to travel to the United States, but also to the many businesses where many of these people are also employed.

If the ban remains in effect, companies are going to have to be forced into making business decisions they never dreamed of.

Rely totally on American employees

This is definitely not the route most employers want to go, but if the ban withstands a legal challenge it may be the only option left for them.

First, this really limits the pool of qualified workers companies can draw from and seriously hamper slow down the entire hiring process while companies sift through and verify their employee’s citizenship.

It will require a complete revamp of the hiring process.

Google, Apple and others maintain the ban will only hurt the US economy, as a result and filed their own suit to a federal appeals court on Sunday. There have been nearly 100 technology companies, including a retailer of king size beds, which have argued that Mr. Trump’s temporary ban on all visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries would hurt US business.

According to the suit, the ban would violate both immigration law and the United States Constitution.

“The tremendous impact of immigrants on America — and on American business — is not happenstance,” the companies said in a friend-of-the-court filing. “People who choose to leave everything that is familiar and journey to an unknown land to make a new life necessarily are endowed with drive, creativity, determination — and just plain guts.”

But hiring only American citizens may be the only route left for these companies to take, if the ban remains in effect.

Restrict foreign workers to domestic duties

Part of the constitutional conflict with the ban as currently written, the restrictions are not just limited to those seeking refuge in the US for the very first time, it also restricts travel for refugees who already reside in the US completely legally.

Companies may be forced to restrict their foreign born employees to domestic duties only that don’t require traveling abroad. Again, not the ideal route to have to go, but restricting foreign workers to domestic duties is a better option overall, than having to totally replace these workers with only American citizens.

But companies feel this is a global job market and the US can no longer afford to restrict travel of a company’s employees with a ban instituted as part of a trend toward nationalistic policy.

IT and software managers who service global internet businesses must have the freedom to move about where and when they’re needed.

This isn’t going to be a simple shift in employee duties, but require retraining of employees who are American citizens so they can adequately perform those other duties.

Adequately warn foreign employees about personal travel

This ban affects everyone in the country who is a foreign national and has an American work visa and also affects them whether the trip is work related or personal.

This goes above and beyond the corporate call of duty, but given the scope of the ban, companies may have to issue travel warnings to their foreign-born employees on the risk of personal travel. After all, they can’t have their employees there on Friday, but stuck out of the country on Monday.

An Iraqi software engineer for Facebook, Murtadha al-Tameemi, 24, lives and works in Seattle, but on many weekends drives the three hours across the border into Canada to visit his family who live in Vancouver.

That is until now, when according to the ban, Tameemi wouldn’t be able to return to his home in the US, because of his immigrant status. He’s now in a position of where if he travels to Canada to visit his mother, will he even be able to return the US that he now calls home.

Employees such as Tameemi are going to have to be properly informed by the company they work for that such travel is risky.

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