President Trump is known for being controversial and his latest executive order is one of most controversial acts as of yet. Signed on January 27, the executive order is titled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Entry into the United States by Foreign Nations” and is focused on immigration issues. The order immediately suspended the entrance of individuals from seven countries: Iran, Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, and Syria, including entry of new refugees. This order has some major implications for businesses as even individuals with pre-approved work Visas are affected by the order.
Since the implementation of the executive order, many have outcried for its reversal deeming it be unconstitutional and immoral. On Sunday a federal court ruled the controversial order will remain suspended until further investigation. The United States Court of Appeals supported the challenge called forth by the states of Washington and Minnesota. The next few days will be telling for the executive order. As of writing this, the order is on hold pending review from the Justice Department as to whether or not to schedule a hearing or to keep the ban on hold.
The order ruled for immigrant employees from the seven aforementioned countries that are currently in the US will need to avoid any international travel until the Executive order is lifted or adjusted. The order suspended all entry from immigrants and nonimmigrants for at least 90 days, leaving even US citizens who are in those countries affected and possibly unable to return after traveling or at the very least be subject to additional screening.
How will the order affect the workplace?
Employers are encouraged to suspend all employee travel to Syria, Libya, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, and Sudan. If you employ anyone who is a citizen of those countries you should advise them to cancel any travel plans outside of the US as well even if they have valid documentation. Unfortunately, if any of your employees who are originally from any of the seven countries are currently outside of the US they most likely will not be able to enter the US under the ban.
Although, the Department of Homeland Security has stated that they will allow permanent US citizens who have traveled to the seven countries back into the US on a case by case basis you should advise them to carry all of the necessary paperwork to enter back into the country and prepare to be delayed.
Other countries not in this ban could be affected as well. Foreign nationals of any other country may not be allotted a Visa or at the very least see a significant delay in the issuance of their Visa. The Executive order also calls for Visa suspensions under the Visa Waiver Program which will leave a significant delay in visa wait times. It’s best if you prepare yourself for the possibility that employees of foreign citizenship may need to remain outside of the United States for an extended time.
Another issue that can arise for employers is the ban on refugees. Newly admitted refugees from any country will be suspended for 120 days.
What Can You Expect Next?
The executive order has left many companies feeling a high level of uncertainty as to whether or not they have employees affected by the restrictions. Since the execution of the order, there have been adjustments made halting a variety of terms in the order that have caused a large amount of confusion. For now, businesses who have employees from or in the affected countries should err on the side of caution and avoid any travel unless absolutely necessary.