Employers need to remain vigilant following President Donald Trump’s announcement Thursday that he will issue a new executive order on immigration next week.
The new executive order will replace the Jan. 27 directive that prohibited foreign nationals of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States on any visa category for 90 days. That order was struck down by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The Jan. 27 order had employers in a frenzy to communicate guidance to affected employees.
Lawyers at Mayer Brown, an international law firm, anticipated that Trump would take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court or file a new executive order.
By filing a new order, “the President will clear the way for immediately protecting the country rather than pursuing further, potentially time-consuming litigation,” according to a Department of Justice court filing.
With a new executive order, Trump is likely to sign off on more limited travel restrictions, although it is unclear what the precise parameters will be, explains Liz Stern, a partner at Mayer Brown’s Washington office.
It also is unclear if foreign nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who have valid U.S. non-immigrant authorization, such as H-1B work visas, L-1 or F-1 student visas, or B-1/B-2 visitor visas will be exempt from the revised travel ban, the firm says.
The law firm also expects the original executive order’s “case by case” exception to the travel restriction to be clarified in the new directive.
As employers wait on the president’s new executive order, Stern recommends that companies pool their resources from legal, compliance, security, HR and mobility divisions to create “leadership working groups.”
These crisis control committees, Stern says, can be a company’s leading authority for employees to seek guidance on whether they should or shouldn’t travel, if they are encompassed within the ban, whether having a green card would protect them, or whether being a U.S. citizen or dual-national would protect them.