Trump

Five Impacts of Trump’s Immigration Policies on Businesses

By Peek & Toland on May 12, 2017

President Trump’s immigration executive orders may have a dramatic impact on businesses. However, we won’t know the full impact until his immigration policies are finalized or the courts reach adjudications.

In January, Trump issued an executive order about 15 minutes before the close of business on Friday. It caused chaos at the airports the next day and led to legal action.

The so-called “travel ban” suspended all refugee admissions for 120 days and blocked citizens of seven mainly Muslim countries – Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and Libya from traveling to the United States. After legal setbacks, a new order was issued in March that removed Iraq and softened some parts of the original ban.

The original orders were resisted and fought in the courts where they were blocked.

immigration policies impact business

These executive orders and other immigration policies may have an impact on businesses. The main impacts could be.

1 Restricting the Ability of Businesses to Hire Foreign Talent

Technology and financial institution leaders were quick to condemn the travel ban in January. They included Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive at Goldman Sachs and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

The business community fears the ban, whatever form it takes, may impact its ability to attract and retain talent. If global leaders are denied the world’s best talent, the U.S. may suffer and companies could relocate to other countries.

Michael Useem, Wharton management professor and director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management, said many companies hire refugees and people who are on non-immigrant visas. He said.

“So many companies hire refugees, people who are on special visas. It’s just who we are, and this seems to knock the air out of us.”

2 Impacting America’s Reputation for Being “Business Friendly.”

While Donald Trump’s proposals to restrict free trade are not directly linked to immigration there is a clear correlation. At one point, the White House appeared to float a 20 percent tariff on imports from Mexico to finance the building of the border wall to keep out immigrants.

Notwithstanding the trade deficit the U.S. has with Mexico, American companies export approximately $270 billion to its southern neighbor, reported Salon. The article said the idea of steep tariffs is alarming both business leaders and some lawmakers who fear the United States could become a more difficult place to do business.

Texas benefits from a large chunk of the cross-border trade with Mexico.

3 The Need for Greater Vetting of Workers

The president wants businesses to step up their enforcement of immigration laws to ensure they are not hiring undocumented workers. The system of E-Verify may become compulsory.

E-Verify allows employers to obtain electronic verification from the government of an employee’s authorized work status.

It is voluntary but became compulsory in places such as Arizona. In Texas, a bill to require Texas businesses to use E-Verify as a precondition to receiving state contracts, was earmarked as a priority by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

However, E-Verify proved burdensome and bureaucratic when Arizona and Alabama brought it in more than four years ago, reported the Huffington Post.

The Chinese restaurant P.F. Changs used E-Verify. It was still sanctioned for hiring workers who successfully beat the system and was forced to close eight stores in Arizona.

Some experts claim mandatory use of the system could significantly slow down businesses’ efforts to hire employees.

Immigration Policies May Impact Texas Economy

4 Creating A Disincentive to Overseas Investors

The importance of overseas investors to the U.S. economy is illustrated in recent data from the National Foundation for American Policy as we noted last year.

More than half of U.S. businesses valued at $1 billion or more were started up by immigrants, stated the nonpartisan public policy research.

NFAP said immigrants make up over 70 percent of the key members of management or product development teams. By stemming the flow of investment, the United States could lose out on foreign funding.

5 Posing Obstacles for Future Hiring

The initial travel ban instructed federal agencies to consider more in-person interviews. These were to be held at U.S. consular posts and immigration offices in the United States.

Agents were to be instructed to evaluate whether employer-sponsored foreign workers would become a contributing member of society and make a positive contribution to the national interest.

This would have been a “nebulous” test that gives considerable power to officials, stated an article in FastCompany.com.

Restrictions in H1-B visas will also impact hiring. A recent CNN report said the Trump administration is considering restricting spouses and children of H-1B visa holders from coming to the United States. The administration cut the fast-tracking procedure out of the visa program.

It remains to be seen what final shape Trump’s immigration policies and travel bans will take. However, a hostile and suspicious climate for overseas workers coupled with new restrictions to the visas system could exacerbate uncertainties in future hiring for Texas companies.

 If your company is facing uncertainties in hiring foreign workers to fill a skills gap, we can help. Please call our Austin immigration lawyers at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Immigration Reform, Visas

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Trump’s Plan to Deport 11 Million People Would Pose Logistical Challenges

By Peek & Toland on July 15, 2016

Donald J. Trump’s vow to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and to build a wall between the United States and Mexico is seldom out of the news. However, less attention has been paid to how the GOP nominee for President would achieve his aim.

In a recent article the New York Times, a news organization that has been critical of Trump, wrote he has “typically provided scant details” on how he would meet his aims and his policies on immigration fail to add up.

Although Trump has promised to provide more details about his immigration plans, major questions remain.

Donald Trump's immigration proposals are controversial

Trump has outlined a number of key immigration proposals that were noted on CNN, namely:

  1. The United States would build a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border.
  1. He would impose a nationwide system to verify workers’ legal status, increase the number of immigrations and customs enforcement agents threefold and put in place a tracking system to identify people who remain in the U.S. when their visas expire.
  1. He would reverse a U.S. law that gives American citizenship to any child born in the United States, regardless of whether the child’s parents are undocumented immigrants. Every year about four million children of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. become citizens because they are born here, states The Los Angeles Times.
  1. Trump would suspend the issuance of any new green cards, providing a pause for U.S. employers to hire from a “domestic pool of unemployed immigrant and native workers.”
  1. He would remove about 11 million undocumented immigrants, deporting them to their native countries.

The deportation plan would present a challenge on a monumental scale and be a radical immigration reform. Deportations in recent years have peaked at about 400,000 annually, and 11 million would be unprecedented. Experts have warned just finding the immigrants alone would be difficult, and police officers would have to demand proof of residency or citizenship during random stops or traffic stops. It’s a scenario that threatens the development of a police state, critics say.

Michael Chertoff, who oversaw an increase in immigration enforcement when he was a Secretary of Homeland Security under former President George W. Bush, told the New York Times it was impossible to envisage the deportation of 11 million people without the apparatus of a police state.

Large scale raids would probably be required and the Obama administration’s focus on deporting those who had committed crimes would likely be muddied.

The New York Times article raises the prospect of a mass internment camp building program. At present, there are about 34,000 beds. There would need to be as many as 300,000, it states.

There’s also the issue of the judicial backlog. Presently, there are 57 immigration courts that face backlogs of as long as two years for a hearing. The federal government would face opening up dozens of emergency courts and appointing hundreds of new judges.

These logistical hurdles just relate to the deportation plans. The funding and building of the wall would be another massive headache and Trump’s insistence that Mexico would pay for it appears to be less than credible.

Recently, an article in Business Insider warned that in addition to the incredible human costs related to the deportation plan, losing 11 million workers and potential employees could lead to the loss of billions of dollars from the U.S. economy.

If you or a loved one is facing deportation, it’s important to talk to an experienced Austin immigration attorney as soon as possible. Contact the attorneys at Peek & Toland , to help you better understand your options and start the process of securing legal status in the United States. Call us at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Cancellation of Removal, Immigration Reform

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