Association Call Explores Implications to Large Employers of Recent Immigration Executive Order

February 03, 2017

This week, the Association held a call with our members on the recently issued Executive Order 13769, which suspends the issuance of visas and "other immigration benefits" to "nationals of countries of particular concern," possibly signaling the beginning of significant new restrictions on the employment of immigrants with skills essential to the American economy.  Adding to an already confusing situation, the interpretation of the E.O. is still evolving, with critical questions such as the status of green card holders from one of the seven affected countries unanswered until after the E.O.'s issuance.  Lending their expertise on the call were FortneyScott partners David Fortney, former Acting Solicitor of the Department of Labor, and Jacqueline Scott, who discussed the legal status of the order and provided an on-the-ground account of its impact at Dulles Airport.  Describing how her company was dealing with the situation, a representative from one of our member companies noted that its CHRO had ‚Äúreached out to employees to make sure they understood what the facts are, and made a statement about our values as an employer.  We've been focused on making sure our employee population knows that we're here to support them."  Ms. Scott suggested that companies:

  • Ensure immigration information provided to employees is relevant and up to date;
  • Make sure employees meet visa qualifications;
  • Establish a hotline for employees;
  • Have a system to track international travel so they will be in a better position to determine whether they have a problem; and
  • Train line management to explain to affected workers what is going on, the potential pitfalls, and advice on how to navigate them.

Mr. Fortney noted that this and other immigration actions both by the Trump Administration and in Congress mean "almost every aspect of our immigration system is in play." (See separate story on potential new H-1B restrictions.)