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Microsoft Wants an Exception to Trumps Immigration Plan

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

In case you live under a rock, President Trump recently signed an Executive Order temporarily suspending immigration from seven majority Muslim nations, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia. You’d think President Trump started WWIII with all the outcry across America. Those who oppose Trump are incensed and easily triggered. This Executive Order is pretty much common sense and not too far off from exactly what President Obama had previously done.

That didn’t stop the angry left from marching, protesting, and trashing private property. The response has truly been a spectacle to behold. Our freedom allows for all sorts of protest, but I must admit it is getting a bit tiresome. The constant marching and chanting is wearing out the Democrat Brand. Who really cares about a bunch of people marching anymore?

In all seriousness, the rollout and execution of the immigration suspension could have been handled better. President Trump could have communicated his true intent much more clearly and then tasked the correct agencies with clear guidelines on implementation. None of that really happened, which simply added fuel to the fire of Trump’s detractors.

CNN called Trump’s plan “extreme vetting” and in a matter of days the whole thing has been pulled into the courts where it will play out. Competent vetting is what most everyone wants, but the plan wrongly targeted people some people who had previously been vetted. People legally here on student and work visas were hurt by this mistake.

We need to implement smart policies that both protect America while not harming our economic productivity. It can be done. Microsoft wrote a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly asking for an exception for their employees hurt by the immigration suspension. It is a common-sense approach that will accomplish what Trump supporters are hoping for while also keeping our technology engine going.

The term that sums up what Microsoft needs from the administration is an exemption for people like this - “Responsible Known Traveler with Pressing Needs”

Read here exactly what type of person fits this criteria:

  •       The individual holds a valid nonimmigrant work visa sponsored by a U.S. employer enrolled in E-Verify, an F-1 student visa to pursue a degree at an accredited U.S. university accompanied by documentation from the university showing that he or she is currently enrolled and in good standing, or a derivative nonimmigrant visa as an immediate family member of one of these individuals.
  •       The individual has committed no crime in the United States.
  •        If departing from the U.S., the purpose of the travel must be for the business need of the employer or for an exigent family-related emergency. The travel abroad will be for a duration of no longer than two weeks. Immediate family members with derivative nonimmigrant visas would be permitted to accompany “Responsible Known Travelers with Pressing Needs” if the travel is for an exigent family-related emergency.
  •       Business travel abroad will not include passage through the countries covered by the Executive Order. Personal travel abroad for exigent family

Microsoft argues they have “76 employees, who, together with their 41 dependents, have nonimmigrant visas to live and work in the United States and are impacted by the Executive Order.” With that in mind they are asking for exception for individuals and US employers who use E-Verify and hold valid nonimmigrant work visas, or students on F-1 visas at US Universities be exempt from the immigration mandate.

It makes good sense because these people have already been extremely vetted. All of their background information is adequately documented. This is exactly the right thing to do. By allowing this exemption President Trump can both show that he is for economic growth and at the same time display how he is not against quality people coming to America.

Trump should meet with Microsoft and grant the exemption to keep the high-tech workers we need. This would go a long way to dispel the myths and lies around the immigration Executive Order and show the world we are open for business and legal workers/immigrants will have a critical role in our future success.

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