Gulfport law firm gives advice on how to handle Trump’s refugee ban

Demonstrators climbed on walls at the U.S. Court for Federal Claims building near the White House on Jan. 29, 2017.
Demonstrators climbed on walls at the U.S. Court for Federal Claims building near the White House on Jan. 29, 2017. McClatchy

Don’t travel.

That’s the message a law firm is giving to employers and employees following President Donald Trump’s immigration and refugee ban.

On Friday, Trump signed an executive order that imposes a temporary, 90-day ban on people entering the U.S. from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. The ban includes all immigrants and non-immigrants from the seven countries. It also halts all refugee admission processing for at least 120 days and stops the entry of Syrian refugees for the foreseeable future.

Fisher Phillips LLP, a national law office with a Gulfport branch that specializes in employment law, is advising employers and employees on how to handle the ban.

“At this time, we would encourage all employers to suspend all work-related international travel for employees from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq and Sudan,” the law firm said in a press release.

“Similarly, you (employer) should encourage them (employee) to remain in the United States to indefinitely postpone any personal travel plans outside of the United States if possible, even if they have a valid H-1B visa or green card.”

Trump’s order also requires the Secretary of State to suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program, which allows travelers from 38 countries to obtain renewed travel authorization without a second or subsequent in-person interview.

Fisher Phillips said it expects visa wait times to increase significantly with the ban.

The firm even recommends employers postpone all visa appointments, including those from countries outside the ban, “unless absolutely necessary.”

“If a visa application is necessary, you should be prepared for your employees to remain outside of the United States for an extended period of time,” according to the press release.

While the law office advises foreign nationals to carry clear copies of their legal authorization to be in the U.S. at all times, it also says the person should not sign any forms or other paperwork without consulting an immigration attorney.

Justin Vicory: 228-896-2326, @justinvicory