Atlanta companies could suffer from president's immigration ban

Court issues stay for detainees with visas

ATLANTA, Ga – Companies like Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola and other Atlanta corporate giants whose businesses span the globe could be adversely impacted by President Donald Trump’s immigration ban.

“These companies, and hundreds of others in the metro area, have significant global outreach, with employees and consultants who are in and out of the country all of the time,” said Tom Smith, an assistant professor of finance at Emory University. “If Coca-Cola needs to send someone from one of the banned countries to another part of the world, how can it be sure that this person is going to get back into the U.S.?”

The executive order, signed Friday, suspends entry of all refugees to the U.S. for 120 days, halts admission of refugees from Syria indefinitely and bars entry for three months to residents from the predominantly Muslim countries of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

“The order has huge implications for these companies’ staffing issues and how they do their jobs,” Smith said. “Suppose your company employs a lawful resident from these countries and they travel in and out of the U.S. This order could halt these trips and potentially have negative impacts on business deals, vendor agreements and consulting arrangements.”

President Trump’s executive order affects green-card holders with passports from Iraq, Iran, and other majority-Muslim nations.

For instance, Smith said an Iranian-born engineer may not be able to perform his or her job, which could be detrimental to the company.

“But’s let take a reverse scenario,” Smith said. “Let’s say Oracle has a vending agreement with a company in Canada or England or Germany. That company sends a Iranian to the U.S. on a valid visa to work a specific project. Now what happens?

“Once you place restrictions on people moving into and out of a specific area, you’re affecting corporate profitability.”

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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