Sunday , 19 September 2021
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Google recalls staff after Trump order

International Desk

Google has recalled travelling staff members to the US after an executive order from President Donald Trump restricting entry for nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries.

Syrian refugees are banned from entry until further notice.

Visas for nationals of six countries, including Iran and Iraq, will not be issued for the next three months.

Google has told the BBC it is concerned about the order and any measures which could block great talent from the US.

President Trump’s order could mean that thousands of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya may not be allowed to board flights bound for the US.

The new restrictions will have a major impact on technology companies that hire skilled staff from all over the world on special H1-B visas.

There have already been reports of “green card” holders, who are allowed to work in the US, being prevented from getting on flights. However, green cards are not specifically mentioned in the executive order.

Mr Trump said the measures detailed in his executive order would “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the US”.

But rights groups say there is no link between Syrian refugees in the US and terrorism.

The sudden and severe immigration restrictions imposed on passport holders from seven Muslim countries could seriously demonstrate the law of unintended consequences. The president wants to restrict some Muslims but the effect could be to damage America’s most important and profitable sector: technology.

Google has recalled around 100 of its affected staff from overseas. Microsoft has warned its shareholders that curbs on immigration could have a material impact on its business.

The technology sector relies heavily on highly skilled and well-paid workers from overseas on H1-B visas. If there’s a risk, however small, that that brainpower could be restricted in some way or scare off others who may feel unwelcome, the big tech companies may have to rethink where they place their key staff in future.

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