Microsoft on Thursday requested exemptions from President Trump's executive order preventing citizens of certain countries from traveling to or from the US, explaining that 76 of its employees are subject to the order.
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The company's proposals, filed in a formal request to the Departments of State and Homeland Security, would allow people affected by the order to travel under limited circumstances, including for family-related emergencies or for required business travel.
Microsoft's proposed exemptions would "address the pressing needs of real people" beyond its own employees, according to the company's chief legal officer, Brad Smith.
"At Microsoft we have seen these needs first-hand through some of our 76 employees who are impacted by last week's order and, together with their 41 dependents, have nonimmigrant visas to live in the United States," Smith wrote in a blog post. "These needs almost certainly are not unique to our employees and their families."
Microsoft's proposal would apply to holders of employer-sponsored visas, F-1 student visas, and their family members, who would be able to apply to leave and re-enter the US for trips of up to two weeks.
Smith noted that the executive order allows officials to grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis, and that if the proposal is adopted, it would apply to people who have already undergone scrutiny from numerous US agencies.
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Like other tech companies, Microsoft opposes the order, which limits immigration from seven countries for 90 days: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (pictured above) joined his counterparts from Facebook, Google, and other companies this week in speaking out against the order.
"At the outset, we recognize that this proposal will not and should not end the broader debate and deliberations regarding last week's executive order," Smith wrote. "Our company is one among many that has expressed its views, and we will continue to participate energetically and constructively in the public discussions that help define our democratic processes."
Other than explaining that they hold nonimmigrant visas, Smith did not offer more details on the employees who were affected by the order.