Trump’s Travel Ban Driving Tech Workers North, Solido CEO Says

February 1, 2017

By: Jonathan Charlton, Saskatoon StarPhoenix

A Saskatoon tech company is reaping rewards from U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban.

Solido Design Automation CEO Amit Gupta said the company started getting a surge of quality job applications when Trump was elected, and he expects to see even more this week.

“I think the statement by (Prime Minister Justin Trudeau) yesterday about being open to different backgrounds and diversity being our strength, that was a great top level message and we’re seeing a lot more applicants, people wanting to move to Saskatoon,” Gupta said.

Trump’s executive order bans refugees, migrants and foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries.Among the people interested in moving north are those in universities who were born in the targeted countries and worry about finding a job in America, people with green cards who worry about increased scrutiny and people who oppose Trump’s ideology, Gupta said.

An open letter signed by members of Canada’s tech community calls for the federal government to offer visas to people whose lives have been left in limbo because of the ban.

The group Tech Without Borders also requests a visa that would allow displaced people to live and work in Canada, with access to benefits until they can complete the application process for permanent residency, if they choose.

University of Saskatchewan president Peter Stoicheff said in a statement on Monday that the ban could damage the university’s relationships with American post-secondary institutions.

“The executive order has the potential to negatively affect our research and teaching partnerships with U.S. institutions, conference participation, study abroad, and interactions with U.S. colleagues with common academic interests,” Stoicheff said in the statement.

“Along with Universities Canada and the Association of American Universities, the U of S calls for this ban to end as quickly as possible.”

In a scrum with reporters on Monday, Premier Brad Wall noted Saskatchewan was built on immigration, and that immigration has worked for both Canada and America.

He also noted Saskatchewan immigrant groups such as Mennonites and Ukrainians came to escape persecution in their home countries.

“We’d better remember that positive economic immigration must also include compassionate immigration polices.

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