Microsoft asks Trump administration for exception program on immigration orders

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By Stephen Nellis

<span class="articleLocation”>Microsoft Corp on Thursday said it had sent a
proposal to U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to
create a program to let people from seven predominantly Muslim
nations enter and leave the United States on business or family
emergency travel if they hold a valid work or student visa and
have not committed any crimes.

In a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Microsoft President Brad Smith
outlined a program for case-by-case review of exceptions to a
travel ban instituted last week for “Responsible Known Travelers
with Pressing Needs.”

The proposal argues that the secretaries have the power to
grant exceptions to the travel ban under the order issued last
week by President Trump.

Technology companies including Microsoft, Google owner
Alphabet Inc, Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc have been vocal in
their opposition to Trump’s order, arguing that they rely on
workers from around the world to create their products and
services.

Amazon and Expedia Inc filed declarations of support on
Monday in a legal challenge by the Washington state Attorney
General to the order. Microsoft said on Thursday that 76 of its
employees and 41 dependents were affected by the travel ban.

Microsoft’s proposal would cover holders of the H-1B visa, a
temporary work visa that the tech sector relies on to recruit
foreign talent. Secretary Kelly issued an order on Sunday saying
that green card holders would be allowed to travel under the
executive orders, but H-1B holders from the seven affected
countries are still banned.



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