Amazon has advised employees from countries affected by President Donald Trump’s temporary immigration ban from seven majority-Muslim nations to avoid traveling outside the United States, and is working on “contingency plans” for those who are currently abroad, according to an email provided to The Verge.
Unlike some other major tech companies, Amazon has not issued a high-level public condemnation of Trump’s recent executive order, which has been contested by judges in New York and Virginia. But it appears to be worried about consequences for employees from the countries in question — all of whom can (and likely will) be banned from entering the US, even if they’ve been granted green cards. In response to questions from The Verge, Amazon forwarded a message from VP of human resources Beth Galetti, which was sent to the workforce.
As you may have seen in the news, the administration issued an executive order yesterday that restricts entry into the United States by foreign nationals who were born in, or are citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, even if you hold dual citizenship with another country, US permanent residence status, or a valid US work visa. US citizens are not impacted by this restriction, which will be in effect for an initial period of 90 days, and may be extended or expanded.
From the very beginning, Amazon has been committed to equal rights, tolerance and diversity — and we always will be. As we’ve grown the company, we’ve worked hard to attract talented people from all over the world, and we believe this is one of the things that makes Amazon great — a diverse workforce helps us build better products for customers.
Our immediate focus is to make sure you all have the information you need to make travel decisions in the coming days and weeks. Here’s what you need to do now if you are a citizen of any of the countries listed in the order:
- If you currently reside and/or work in the US and are present in the US today, we recommend that you refrain from travel outside of the US until further notice as you may be denied re-entry to the US for the duration of the entry restrictions;
- If you currently work/reside in the US (as a green card holder or on a valid work visa such as an H, L, E, or TN) but are traveling abroad, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We are working on contingency plans for these employees and will be communicating with them directly;
- If you work for Amazon in another country (and are a citizen of any of the countries listed above) and have current plans to visit the US for business or personal reasons, we advise you to cancel them until the entry restrictions are lifted.
We are committed to supporting all of our employees and anyone in their immediate family who may be impacted by this order, including assistance with legal counsel and support, and will continue to monitor any developments.
Tonight, a pair of court orders temporarily halted the deportation of people who had already arrived in the US or were in transit. But this doesn’t cover many people who remain abroad, and it’s only a temporarily measure.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has not issued a public statement regarding the immigration ban. Despite at one point offering to shoot Trump into space, Bezos was conciliatory after the election, offering his “most open mind” and wishing Trump “great success” with his presidency.