No politics on LinkedIn? Think again

I’m amazed at the number of times I have seen comments on LinkedIn admonishing an author of a post for mentioning anything having to do with the current political climate.

The common refrain from the peanut gallery: “Save it for Facebook. It doesn’t belong here.”

Let me relay a few stories on just one topic — the so-called “Muslim ban” — to explain why that reaction is misguided. This is very much a business issue. And things are anything but business as usual. To wit:

— A friend called last night to cancel our dinner plans. The reason? He received a call from the company’s immigration lawyer that they needed to urgently process all H1-B paperwork that night. The friend, who works at one of the largest and most prominent tech companies in the world, had to pull an all-nighter to get the relevant documents and information needed. (Law firms, like government bureaucracy, are still ladened with actual paper documents and PDF files.)

— On our little neighborhood email forum, the chatter this week has been about a nearby town’s businesses being disrupted with ICE raids.

— A conversation overheard in the workplace recently revolved around a colleague from one of the “banned” Muslim countries. He was trying to decide whether to cancel his parents’ visit. This prompted other workers to relay their fears that this will escalate to even non-banned countries — India, China, for example — and beyond H1-B visa holders to Green Cards.

— The local newspaper carried a story about housing deals that have fallen through as H1-B workers fear they will be deported.

These are not isolated stories. The raids, deals falling through, loss of productivity at work are happening across the country. Imagine what the effect on overall GDP is going to look like in the coming months.

Not appropriate for LinkedIn? I believe it is front and center.