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Trump Executive Order: Technology Industry, IT Channel React

President Donald Trump’s executive order to block the admission of refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, signed Friday, has triggered strong reactions across the legal, political and corporate landscapes. Here’s a timeline of events and reactions.

Friday, January 27: President Donald Trump signed an order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and suspending all refugee admission for 120 days, CNN reported. The countries affected are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia, the report stated. Source: CNN.

Saturday, January 28: Trump’s order triggered chaos at some U.S. airports. A federal judge in New York granted an emergency stay for citizens of the seven Muslim-majority countries who have already arrived in the United States and for those who are in transit and who hold valid visas. The judge ruled they cannot be removed from the US — a decision that halts Trump’s executive order barring citizens from those countries from entering the US for the next 90 days. Source: CNN.

Sunday, January 29:

  • Trump Administration Update: A top White House official appeared to reverse a key part of President Trump’s immigration order, saying that people from the affected countries who hold green cards will not be prevented from returning to the United States. But the official also said that border agents had “discretionary authority” to detain and question suspicious travelers from certain countries. That statement seemed to add to the uncertainty over how the executive order will be interpreted and enforced in the days ahead. Source: New York Times.
  • Republican Reaction: Several top Senate Republicans raised concerns Sunday that President Trump’s order to halt the admission of refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries had not been properly vetted and could harm the relationship between the United States and key allies. Source: Washington Post.
  • Democratic Reaction: Democrats vowed Sunday to introduce legislation to reverse President Trump’s orders implementing a travel ban from certain countries, with at least one senator saying the moves should lead to slower consideration of the president’s top Cabinet nominees. Source: Washington Post.

Trump Executive Order: Technology Executives React

Trump’s plan triggered strong reactions across the technology landscape. Executives representing companies of all sizes — from technology giants to regional IT service providers — weighed in.

mark_zuckerberg

Zuckerberg

Pichai

Pichai

Nadella

Nadella

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Friday struck a cautionary tone, noting that,  “We are a nation of immigrants, and we all benefit when the best and brightest from around the world can live, work and contribute here. I hope we find the courage and compassion to bring people together and make this world a better place for everyone.”

Google recalled traveling staff members to the US, BBC reported. Roughly 100 to 200 Google employees are potentially impacted by the order, according to conflicting reports. “It’s painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues,” CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News. “We’ve always made our view on immigration issues known publicly and will continue to do so.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shared his thoughts via LinkedIn. The post included a companywide memo, calling on the United States to  “protect the public without sacrificing people’s freedom of expression or religion. And we believe in the importance of protecting legitimate and law-abiding refugees whose very lives may be at stake in immigration proceedings.”

Trump Executive Order: IT Service Providers React

Trump’s executive orders and overall policy plan could impact companies of all sizes — including small IT service providers. In terms of dollars and cents, some IT service providers worry that Trump’s various policies could ultimately drive up the cost of IT services and drive down profitability.

But Trump’s latest effort — the attempt to block the admission of refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries — has shifted the IT service provider conversation from business priorities to human rights issues.

MJ Shoer

MJ Shoer

Among those speaking out against Trump’s immigration policies: MJ Shoer, a well-known IT channel advocate and IT services provider in New England. In a lengthy letter posted on Facebook, Shoer described his concerns about President Trump’s first week in office. Shoer also described how Trump’s proposed policies, if enacted decades ago, would have gravely impacted his family. Shoer indicated that he was sending his letter electronically and via traditional mail to President Trump and other leaders.

Current Status: Sunday Night, Jan 29.

As of Sunday night, Bloomberg offered this recap of developments so far.

“The legal system’s constitutional defense against President Donald Trump’s policies won its first battle this weekend when several federal district courts blocked the implementation of his executive order banning immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries.”

CNN has posted an FAQ explaining what immigrants need to know about Trump’s executive orders.

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