Over 60 CEOs from many best-known companies sent a letter to Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, about changes to immigration policies and procedures that create uncertainty and harm to many employees. The letter came from the Business Roundtable, an association of U.S. CEOs.
With the unemployment rate at an 18-year low, finding and keeping talented individuals is a top concern for many employers. Many job vacancies remain unfilled. Equally evident is the rising anxiety among legal immigrants and their families that work for companies like Apple, AT&T, Cisco, Salesforce, IBM, HP, Bank of America, and many others.
The immigration policy and procedure changes are ambiguous and create an atmosphere that legal workers can face deportation without notice or the opportunity to correct or provide necessary information.
- Immigration policy changes make it more challenging for highly skilled foreign workers to obtain H-1B visas.
- With the policy and procedure changes and uncertainties, it seems much easier for immigration officials to deport foreign workers who become ineligible.
- A long-standing deference policy that enabled consistent immigration decisions without material fact changes to be called into question. An immigration adjudicator can disagree with prior decisions and approvals, creating ambiguity for companies and uncertainty for their workers.
- The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is on track to revoke work authorization eligibility for the H-4 spouses of H-1B employees. Other countries allow this eligibility and, without it, the United States risks losing both talented individuals.
- In many cases, the U.S. Department of Labor has already certified that no U.S. citizen is available to fill these jobs.
Quest and Actions (Q&A):
- What churn is happening within your company due to the uncertainty of U.S. immigration policies? How are H-1B colleagues and their spouses feeling right now?
- Have you traced your ancestry and determined how your grandparents or parents came to the U.S., and what would have happened if they were prevented from doing so?
- In your view, what does a reasonable, effective, and legal immigration policy entail? Do you know what your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative believe?