There is increasing concern in the United States over the stance president elect will take over immigration once he takes over the presidency from Barack Obama. His policies on immigration were a key message during the campaign for the presidential election and businesses are bracing themselves for changes.
Some business leaders agree that immigration is hurting American citizens and that long awaited reform to the H-1B visa system is long overdue whilst others are concerned this will hurt business and drive up wage costs.
The H-1B is a temporary immigration visa that allows up to 85,000 foreign workers to enter and work in the United States. Fans of the visa system says it allows them to hire highly skilled workers that are in short supply in the US but critics say that it is open to abuse and allows companies to hire cheap, non American workers.
“Because of lobbying by the Chamber of Commerce and big tech companies, they’ve succeeded in loosening standards and we’ve seen the increasingly common scenario where American workers are fired, and have to train their replacements,” Dan Stein, President of the Federation for American Immigration Reform recently said.
During the campaign Donald Trump took a hard line on immigration and foreign workers but is now being seen to moderate his views recently saying that if the country needs skilled people then the system needs to be in place whereby US companies can source them from overseas.
These are uncertain times for the whole of the United States and it remains to be seen if the president elect will be as strong on immigration as he first suggested. There will certainly be some immigration reform but how far that goes and what form it takes will remain uncertain until Donald Trump takes office in the new year.