Trump’s tough stand on immigration will adversely affect the American technology industry

american technology industry

The agenda of Trump on immigration is quite unclear, while he has already announced to make fundamental changes to the visa needed by the technology sector in the US. This is clear by the nomination of renowned anti-immigration Alabama senator Jeff Sessions as the Attorney general.

The stakeholders in the technology industry are concerned about the negative impact that Trump’s policies will have on the sector. The anxiety of the tech sector is based on the declarations of Trump that he will be expelling immigrants who have no legal approvals. This is clearer from his ten point agenda on immigration.

After winning the Presidential elections, Trump also announced that he will insist the Labor department look at the visa policies of the US. He announced this along with his hundred days plan for the US administration.

Trump had declared that a wall will be built across the borders of South America. He has although not given a clear perception of his plans for the most sought after H1-B visas that are in demand by the skilled workers.

The technology sector in the US is heavily dependent on the H1-B visas to hire overseas immigrants for diverse profiles that need highly skilled workers. The demand for this category of visa is on a constant rise and it is the most debated visa categories of the US.

Statistics have revealed that year after year the applications submitted for this visa exceeds the number of visas that are approved. It is also beyond prediction about which file would be selected for processing.

It was quoted by the Engadget that in the year 2014 out of the total H1-B visas that were approved, 65% were allotted to the technology-related professions. This was as per the report submitted to the US Congress by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The US experts on immigration have also said that the H1-B visa group is also governed by the international law of General Agreement on Trade in Services. The provision of this treaty mandates that US provides a least of 65,000 H1-B visas annually. Any attempts to contradict the treaty will land the country in the international court for trade.

The counsel to Daniel Aharoni & Partners LLP, Ari Ambrose has said that Trump administration plans to increase the eligibility criterions for H1-B visa that will make it difficult for immigrants to qualify for the visa. It may make it mandatory for the employers to look for prospective US citizens before they offer the job to the overseas workers.

The Center for American Progress had in a recent report stated that the termination of DACA program would incur losses of a minimum $433.4 billion for the American GDP over ten years. The report also stated that the elimination of DACA initiative would have severe adverse consequences for the US technology sector.

The decrease in immigrants to the US will also have an impact in the social sphere as many immigrants are already a part of the American society. The ambiguity that these immigrants will face after the regressive immigration measures will impact them both as workers and members of American society.

Ambrose also added that the impact will be quite tremendous on the tech sector and equally for the American economy. Not just the tech industry but a range of sectors in the US such as agriculture, hospitality, construction, universities and health care are dependent on the workforce from overseas, he said.

The impact would not only be on corporate sector but even overall as a nation, as it is difficult for immigrants to come to a nation for work, tour or even study that degrades migrants.

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