Canadian resident’s Nexus card revoked, Microsoft calls for Trump travel ban exemptions
Also, several technology industry giants that include Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft have drafted a letter which expresses concerns over the potential negative impact of Trump’s temporary travel ban. Yesterday, the chief legal officer of Microsoft sent a letter to John Kelly, secretary of the U.S. Homeland Security, and Rex Tillerson, U.S. secretary of state, making a case for creating exemptions to Trump’s executive order that would permit “responsible, known travelers with pressing need” to enter the country.
Last Friday, after Trump, issued an executive order that banned all people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia from entering the U.S. The ban will last for 90 days. The same order also suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days.
Less than a week after that order, a Syrian-Canadian permanent resident who has lived in Toronto since 2012, told the CBC that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection notified him that his Nexus card, which does not expire until 2021, had been revoked.
The man said he applied for the card because he frequently travels to the U.S. Despite the card, he is regularly subjected to a secondary screening at the border. According to the CBC, it has also spoken with a man from Seattle who is or Iranian descent, who received a similar notice on Wednesday.
Last week, Ahmed Hussen, Canadian immigration minister, said he was informed by the White House that Canadian permanent residents can enter the U.S. provided they have a valid Canadian permanent resident card and a passport from their country of origin.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s chief legal officer, sent a letter to the heads of the U.S. Department of State and Department of Homeland Security.
Microsoft is asking that exemptions to the ban be given to people with non-immigrant work visas, student visas, or family members. The company is seeking the formulation of a mechanism that would allow such individuals to enter and leave the U.S. for business trips and family emergencies. Microsoft suggested that these individuals be allowed in as long as their stay in the country does not exceed two weeks.
“We believe such an exception under the existing framework of the Executive Order would help address compelling personal needs without compromising the Executive Order’s security-related objectives,” the letter said. “Under these criteria, the individuals who would qualify for the “Responsible Known Traveler with Pressing Needs” classification do not present the types of safety and security risks described by the Executive Order.”
Microsoft also argued that employer-sponsored non-immigrant visas are given to people who have already undergone significant government security checks.
“…a wide range of personal information is known about individuals holding non-immigrant work visas, including their occupation, place of work, place or residence, family members, state identification/driver’s license information, and the existence of any criminal history,” said Smith. “These are not people trying to avoid detection. Rather these individuals are ‘known quantities’ in their communities…”
To read the full content of Smith’s letter, click on this link.
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