The diversity of our employees is what makes a nation so great. We depend on people from different parts of the world, different cultures, to help us every day to achieve our goals.
A lot of big technology companies were co-founded by immigrants, and virtually all of them have immigrant employees. That not only means that the immigration order could hurt their future recruitment, it also means these companies have a lot of current employees whose friends and family could be affected.
Technology companies often compete in a global market, with a lot of customers, suppliers, and employees based overseas. If the policies close off the US from the rest of the world, technology companies will be among the hardest hit.
One big reason for this is undoubtedly that they’re hoping Trump will enact other policies they favor — especially tax cuts and deregulation. Strongly opposing the altered immigration agenda could alienate the president and make him disinclined to give them what they want on other issues. And while business groups generally favor more liberal immigration policies, they may not view it as a top priority.
On the other hand, Trump isn’t done crafting his immigration policy. He is rumored to be working on legislation that would restrict the use of visas like the H-1B that allow American businesses to recruit high-skilled foreign workers. Trump may also order further crackdowns on unauthorized immigration.
Aspects that would hurt industries like restaurants, hotels, and agriculture that rely heavily on immigrant labor. So while major business groups are largely sitting on the sidelines today, they could become more involved in the coming months.
The new work-visa programs would force tech companies to first offer jobs to Americans first, and only then recruit foreign workers, with priority given to the most highly paid. The top recipients of the H-1B visas are outsourcers; it is rumored that the move might have a larger impact on Indian companies than American tech companies.
Trump is looking to make it harder for companies including Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and many others, to hire talent from other countries. But these aren’t the only tech companies that might be affected by the move. India-based companies including Infosys and Wipro who bring in specialized employees to handle tech departments at other corporations.
Among the big tech companies, Microsoft, Amazon, and Expedia have been the most vocal, declaring support for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, which is suing in federal court to oppose the order.
Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon and a host of others have said that they oppose the ban or have expressed concerns about the implications of the order.
There are even silent spectators to the entire melodrama, the media and telecom industries have stayed mostly silent about the executive orders. Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner and AT&T saying they had no public comment.
Many major movie companies, including Sony, Paramount, and Universal, have also been quiet on the matter, which is more in keeping with the Hollywood practice.
In addition to these high-tech workers here on federal permits are speaking out — many for the first time — over rules that leave them for years in personal and professional limbo.
Legal immigrants who feel squeezed by limits on the number of green cards issued each year are trying to separate their complaints from the protests by illegal immigrants. And high-tech companies that say they can’t fill jobs because of a cap on skilled-worker visas have stepped up their long-standing plea for the cap to be raised.
There’s no question that’s it going to be an active year, 2017 for all employers and employees. The best part is the employer industry fraternity is putting its muscle behind its foreign workers.
The order had immediate consequences for thousands of people. But beyond harming long-term U.S. residents, their families, their education, and their work, the executive order could cause long-lasting shockwaves in the business world—and especially in the technology sector.
The fear factor for companies is, that it can no longer attract the best and brightest to this country; it has a chilling effect on business growth and innovation.
That’s a problem that H-1B visas—non-immigrant visas that allow high-skilled foreign workers to be employed, temporarily, by American companies—is designed to solve. A forthcoming executive order will likely change the rules to make it harder for companies to grant foreign workers H-1B visas.
But even without that change, which hasn’t yet been announced, the immigration ban from last week will likely deal a blow to the technology industry, which employs many workers without permanent residency status in the U.S. from the seven countries included in the ban.
Of the seven countries, one, in particular, has seeded the American tech industry with talent, much of which has risen to top spots in major tech companies.
The American technology sector won’t wither up and die overnight without access to immigrants from the majority of countries that were designated as foreign threats. But the ban could be keeping the next generation of tech leaders from ever making it to the U.S. in the first place.
Lastly, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, “We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now.”All the anticipation is would the ships retreat permanently else would they anchor on still shores. We will have to wait and watch.