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Microsoft wants Trump’s travel ban ended, but in the meantime it wants more exceptions

The company has asked the government to look case by case at those with a “pressing need.”

Microsoft Holds Its Annual Shareholders Meeting
Microsoft President Brad Smith
Stephen Brashear / Getty

Microsoft has already said that it thinks Donald Trump’s travel ban is a bad idea, but unless and until the ban goes away, the company wants to see the government loosen its rules on exceptions.

The ban, which affects refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, already allows for exceptions on a case-by-case basis. In a blog post Thursday, Microsoft President Brad Smith asked the government to create a process where already-screened immigrants with a “pressing need” could continue to travel freely.

In its proposal, which Microsoft formally submitted to the government, Microsoft called for already-vetted immigrants to be allowed in, as well as students accepted to universities and for those here to be able to travel for either personal emergencies or work needs.

“There currently are law-abiding visa holders who are parents that were outside the United States last Friday and therefore cannot re-enter the country,” Smith said. “These parents are stranded and separated from their children. Other individuals are confronting genuine family emergencies such as the need to visit a critically ill parent.”

Just at Microsoft, Smith said there are 76 workers and their families being directly impacted by the travel restrictions.

Microsoft still wants to see a broader discussion on whether the ban is a good idea in the first place.

“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 said, adding that Microsoft believes “there is a need and opportunity, amidst the broader debate, for immediate action under the executive order to help real people address pressing needs.”

You can read the blog post here.

Many, many tech companies have voiced opposition and a number of them are drafting a joint letter to send Trump, opposing the ban.

This article originally appeared on

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