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Lawyers advise Long Island companies on immigration ban

Henry Mascia, an associate at Uniondale-based law firm

Henry Mascia, an associate at Uniondale-based law firm Rivkin Radler, says companies should avoid sending employees abroad if they are from one of the seven countries listed under President Trump's new travel ban. Photo Credit: Rivkin Radler / Jim Lennon

Long Island attorneys are advising clients not to send employees out of the country if they’re from one of seven nations listed under President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

“It would be unwise to send them anywhere, even to Canada or Mexico,” said Henry M. Mascia, an associate at Uniondale-based law firm Rivkin Radler. “If you plan to travel with a passport from one of these countries, don’t.”

Mascia said he has proactively warned clients who have international staffers. The health care, cybersecurity and computer programming industries are “chock full of workers who are here with non-immigrant visas,” he said.

The nonimmigrant ban stops entry of refugees and legal immigrants from the Muslim-majority countries of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen.

That list could grow, and “companies should be aware of changes,” Mascia said.

Carmelo Grimaldi, a partner at Mineola-based law firm Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, said employees from those countries shouldn’t be forced to travel. “I would give the employee the option,” Grimaldi said.

New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health, the region’s largest employer, told employees late Monday, “we advise that persons who hold passports from the seven countries named in the Executive Order not to travel abroad at this time because there is a very real risk they may have their visas canceled and/or denied entry back into the U.S.”

Northwell also said that individuals from predominantly Muslim countries should be careful if they plan to travel.

Fewer than 10 of the health system’s 1,600 medical residents and fellows, who are physicians in training after having earned their medical degrees, are from one of the seven affected countries, said Dr. Andrew Yacht, the chief academic officer at Northwell. The company didn’t have data on all its doctors.

Henry Schein, Long Island’s largest public corporation by revenues, did not know of any employees in the United States or abroad affected by the travel ban, a spokeswoman said Monday. The Melville-based company distributes dental, medical and animal health products.

Nationally, technology companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Google have criticized the ban.

“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 United States,” Google wrote in a statement. “We’ll continue to make our views on these issues known to leaders in Washington and elsewhere.” — with Ken Schachter

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