Effects of the Muslim ban on the tech world

Trump’s ban on non-citizens (at first including permanent residents) from seven countries entering the US has hurt a broad range of people. Let’s take a look at its effects on the tech world.

Sanaz Ahari LemelsonThe Guardian reports that “the ban dealt a blow to the technology industry, which relies heavily on foreign-born software engineers.” It cites examples such as Sanaz Ahari Lemelson, a Canadian citizen who was born in Iran and has a green card in the US. She’s the director of product management at Google. Her parents, who live in Vancouver, can’t visit her in Seattle.

Vox mentions Neo Mohsenvand, an Iranian graduate student at MIT. If he leaves the US, he can’t come back. His LinkedIn profile describes him as a graduate assistant at the MIT Media Lab, and “an entrepreneur, a software developer and an applied mathematician with backgrounds in electrical and biomedical engineering.” He’s now looking at work in other countries, or just returning to Iran.

Samira Asgari has expertise in infectious diseases and computer technology. She has a J-1 visa and was planning to start work at Harvard. She can’t come to the US now, since she’s an Iranian living in Switzerland.

Uber drivers may not be techies, but they’re part of an industry which Internet technology has opened up. Many are from foreign countries, including the banned seven. Uber has created a legal defense fund to cover costs drivers incur from the ban. It will also compensate drivers for lost earnings.

To be sure, not everyone is unhappy. Canadian businesses see the ban as a great opportunity to pick up engineers who can’t or are afraid to be in the United States.

Published by

Gary McGath

I am a freelance writer, author of the books _Files that Last_ and _Tomorrow's Songs Today_, with a strong background in software development, file formats, and digital preservation.

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