On January 27, 2017 the President of the United States issued a travel ban via an executive order on immigration.
Initially, the ban did not specify the countries involved, but the Department of Homeland Security later released a fact sheet listing the seven Islamic nations affected. The countries listed included Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen.
Travel Ban Freeze
On February 4, 2017, Judge James L. Robart succeeded in putting a “freeze” on the ban. According to CNN,
A State Department official told CNN the department has reversed the cancellation of visas that were provisionally revoked following the President’s executive order last week — so long as those visas were not stamped or marked as canceled…
The State Department has said fewer than 60,000 visas were revoked since the signing of the order.
Recommendations from Immigration Attorneys
Even so, the consensus from American immigration law experts is for green card holders to return to America and stay put. According to CNN,
Daniel Smith, an immigration attorney in Seattle, predicted a “flood of people trying to enter the US over the next few days” due to the legal opening.
“I am advising clients who are in the country now — don’t leave,” Smith said. “And any clients wanting to enter the country, it’s best if you try to get in right now and then stay put if you get here.”
Advice outside of America was the same. According to RJR News, local news media in Jamaica:
Attorney Ronald Mason, who specialises in immigration law… suggested that Jamaicans with US green cards should remain in America until the confusion surrounding the immigration ban, imposed late last week, eases.
Effect on Business at Alexis Chateau PR
Though none of our teammates or Clients have ties to any of the seven identified locations, our business operations and personal travel plans have nonetheless been affected.
Our Founder, Alexis Chateau, follows the advice provided for residents, and has advised teammates to do the same.
As a direct result, the company delayed the launch of our highly anticipated travel services. This also meant delaying special perks and travel discounts we planned on providing to our talented workers and valued Clients, by the end of February 2017.
Travel Blogging Suspended
Our brand has thrived in business for more than a decade due to a delicate balance of proactive planning and action, without jumping the gun. This compelled Alex to temporarily suspend the travel section of the blog she launched in 2015.
She wrote in a statement published on her blog on February 4, 2017:
Owing to the executive order on immigration and the threats this places on my personal and professional life, there is a high probability that I will not be taking trips – domestically or internationally – for the rest of the year, until further notice. As an unfortunate result, the Alexis Chateau travel blog may be a travel blog no longer.
Effect on the Alexis Chateau PR Brand
Alexis also shared with our team:
I’m fully aware that the ban does not affect our home countries – all the many that our team and Clients bring to the table.
It’s not the ban itself that worries me, so much as the changing of laws without notice. You never know who might be affected next, to what extent, for what reason, and where we might be at the time that happens.
Travel is just not worth the risk, until the dust has settled and we have some clear direction as to how the Administration will proceed. That may be tomorrow, a few months from now, or four years later.
This decision will no doubt hurt our branding, but it’s a hit we take willingly to safeguard the best interests of our team.
Aside from the aforementioned obstacles, business operations will continue as usual at Alexis Chateau PR. This includes our student branch, College Mate. In spite of the delay, we also anticipate a launch of our indie travel services over the next few months.
The agency will continue to monitor the immigration policies, and update you if there are any further effects to the company and our stakeholders.
About Alexis Chateau PR
Alexis Chateau PR is an independent public relations agency with a special interest in lifestyle brands. Alexis Chateau has been a part of the professional arena since 2006, growing from a writing and editing company to a full-service PR agency over the past decade.
Alexis Chateau, Founder & Managing Director