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HRMAC’s International Interest Group hosted an informative panel on the latest trends in global immigration including the recent travel bans implemented by the Trump administration. The panel offered great information and profound insights from a mix of attorneys and HR leaders in the trenches. The session focused on a 90 day travel ban that was instituted on January 20, 2017. The ban detained a slew of nationals including permanent residents from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. It allowed US Custom and Border Patrol officials to use extreme vetting and deny refugees permanently. A number of lawyers immediately appeared at airports across the United States to help those in limbo.

In Chicago, these legal champions are organized as the Chicago Legal Responders and continue to help those whose initial point of entry is O’Hare International Airport. Services initially focused on those directly impacted by the travel ban have expanded to deal with adjudication on visa and employment applications. There were many lawsuits and countersuits along the way from the ACLU and states including Hawaii. President Trump kept it interesting by signing a new travel ban in March. This resulted in a narrower ban which removed Iraqis and permanent residents as well as anyone with a bona fide relationship with an American citizen. The Supreme Court plans to hear the case in October. As many as 2,000 people were impacted immediately after the initial ban was signed. Quick action from the courts have minimized the issue until the Supreme Court rules in October.

President Trump rescinded DACA effective March 5 and garnered much conversation among our panel. DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is one of former President Obama’s signature executive actions that protected over 700,000 DACA recipients who work for US employers. President Trump’s action means DACA recipients will not be able to obtain employment authorization or advance parole after March 5 unless Congress acts. There are legal implications to companies who are grappling with the problem and trying to uncover how many DACA employees they have. There are around 40,000 DACA recipients in Illinois alone.

A number of other topic, were discussed including foreign students, H1B1 Visa turmoil, changes in the green card process, and increased site audits from Immigration around the globe.