Google CEO Sundar Pichai has issued a memo to Google staff members currently overseas, ordering them to return to the US immediately if affected by an executive order from President Donald Trump that banned travel from seven majority-Muslim countries. Bloomberg Technology obtained a copy of the memo, in which Pichai commented that “painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues.”
The executive order bans citizens of Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya from entering the United States for the next 90 days, and bans refugees from Syria indefinitely. According to The New York Times, some travelers were prevented from boarding flights to the US or were stopped at customs once they landed in the country. The order goes beyond stopping the flow of refugees from conflict areas: the orders indiscriminately restricts citizens from the affected countries from traveling to the United States, and could block legal US residents traveling overseas from entering the country. The move has already brought legal challenges to the order.
In a statement issued to The Guardian, Google refused to confirm that it had recalled its overseas staff members, but noted that “we’re 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.” According to Bloomberg Technology, over 100 Google who typically work in the US but happened to be traveling overseas were impacted by the order. The Wall Street Journal also noted that Pichai indicated that at least 187 employees came from countries that were impacted by the ban, and that employees working overseas who needed help should “reach out to our global security team.”
Updated to include information from The Wall Street Journal.