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Google recalls 100 staff following Trump's U.S. entry ban

Google has recalled more than 100 U.S.-based staff currently working or holidaying outside the States that may be refused re-entry to America.

Published onJanuary 28, 2017

Update: Google says up to 187 staff might be affected by the travel ban, but a mention in the article below that some Googlers had already been refused re-entry has been removed, due to a lack of corroborating evidence.

Google’s Sundar Pichai issued a memo to U.S.-based Googlers currently working or holidaying abroad to return to the U.S. as soon as possible, for fear that they will be blocked from returning Stateside. The directive came yesterday, as President Trump signed an executive order shutting down entry to the U.S. for citizens of Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen.

Several Googlers travelers have reportedly already been blocked from re-entering the States, despite holding valid visas or green cards. Trump’s executive order is currently only for 90 days, but that number could change depending on the results of the White House’s investigation into the visa application procedures of the countries listed above.

Google, Facebook and other tech companies have expressed concern at the new order, which, besides affecting current employees from foreign countries, may also severely limit their ability to recruit top talent from the named countries. Up to 100 Googlers currently outside the U.S. may be affected by the no-entry order.

In the memo, Pichai said “It’s painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues” and in a subsequent statement, a Google spokeswoman continued:

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.. We’ll continue to make our views on these issues known to leaders in Washington and elsewhere.

Immigration lawyers are reportedly advising anyone holding a passport from one of the countries listed above from traveling outside the U.S. in the next three months. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg also expressed “concern” over the executive order on Friday and Microsoft warned it “may inhibit our ability to adequately staff our research and development efforts”.

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