President Trump's executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries is causing alarm inside Google, with close to 200 employees affected and others who have accepted job offers experiencing difficulty.
The executive order "affects the lives and families" of at least 187 Google employees, CEO Sundar Pichai told staff on Friday in an email that was reviewed by BuzzFeed News. In addition, 14 people who accepted job offers at the tech giant are coming from places covered by the ban and are currently working with Google lawyers, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Google is offering legal advice to employees who are in the United States on green cards to help them understand how they might be affected, the person said. The company has also updated an internal travel help site "with our best understanding of the situation" and made its global security team available to employees abroad, Pichai told staff.
"It's painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues," Pichai said.
At a company discussion on Thursday, employees "heard from two Googlers grappling with what this might mean for them and their families," Pichai continued. "Just as that discussion was happening, another Googler was rushing back from a trip to New Zealand to make it into the US before the order was signed."
In an email, Google's press team said it had no comment beyond a previous statement, which said the company was "concerned about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that could create barriers to bringing great talent to the US."
Bloomberg News earlier reported on Pichai's email.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin was spotted at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday evening at a protest of the immigration order. "I'm here because I'm a refugee," Brin said, according to a Forbes reporter.
Read the full email below:
President Trump has signed an executive order that temporarily stops foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US regardless of their visa status. This order affects the lives and families or at least 187 Googlers that we know of so far.
Our first order of business is to help Googlers who are affected. We're updating Go/TravelAdvisory with our best understanding of the situation, but if you're abroad and need help please reach out to our global security team via go/GSOC. For other questions, please email [immigration support email address].
It's painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues. Yesterday at TGIF we heard from two Googlers grappling with what this might mean for them and their families. Just as that discussion was happening, another Googler was rushing back from a trip to New Zealand to make it into the US before the order was signed.
We wouldn't wish this fear and uncertainty on anyone — and especially not our fellow Googlers who contribute so much to our products, our business, and our lives. In times of uncertainty, our values remain the best guide. We're upset about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families or that could create barriers to bringing great talent to the US. We've always made our views on immigration issues known publicly and will continue to do so.
But let's also focus on what we can do as individuals and co-workers and help one another and support the Googlers who are experiencing this first hand.
William Alden is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco. Alden covers the technology industry.
Contact William Alden at email@example.com.
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