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Dear Sophie: How can we support our immigrant colleagues during layoffs?


Here’s another edition of “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at technology companies.

“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that allows people all over the world to rise above borders and pursue their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you’re in people ops, a founder or seeking a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to answer your questions in my next column.”

“Dear Sophie” columns are accessible for Extra Crunch subscribers; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one or two-year subscription for 50% off.


Borders can’t stop germs. But borders will also never be able to stop ideas, or love, either.

Last night Trump tweeted that he will temporarily suspend immigration. I’m still waiting to review the text of the executive order, which at the time of this late writing, hasn’t been published yet. I expect significant litigation, as only Congress has the authority to cease immigration pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act. I’m hopeful that a court will issue a temporary restraining order in the near future.

We’re monitoring the situation closely and will continue to provide updates. Stay tuned, and be well. We all share this one Earth. We’ve got this. We’ll figure things out, one step at a time. Together.

Big hugs,
S


Dear Sophie:

We’ve decided to wind down our existing startup to move on to a new biotech opportunity. A co-founder is on H-1B and we sponsored an employee for a TN. How can we support both of them to stay in the U.S.?

— Winding Down in Woodside

 

Dear Winding Down,

It sounds like you’re handling the transition with grace. Every new experience teaches us what we want and what we don’t want, so I’m excited for all of you that you’ll be freeing yourselves to pursue new ideas. The fact that you care so much about your team makes you a strong leader. Your international colleagues will greatly appreciate your support as everybody transitions to new roles and new adventures.



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