President Trump’s Immigration Policy is Hurting U.S. Companies, Leading to Staff Shortages & Brain Drain


President Trump issued an executive order nicknamed “Buy American and Hire American” in April of 2017, along with other restrictive policies and delays on ‘legal’ immigration, in his so-called “America First” initiative. The effect has been dramatic cuts not only in ‘unskilled’ immigrant workers from the U.S. economy, but skilled labor as well.

Under this administration, skilled immigrants who are already here are finding it increasingly difficult to gain permanent residence status. American companies are feeling the negative effects of this policy while they wait for their foreign hires to be granted H1-B work visas. As of the last three months of 2017, the denial rate has soared by 41%. Some skilled workers are choosing to immigrate elsewhere, to locations they are more welcomed. One place inviting them is Canada, which is seizing the opportunity for these skilled workers by offering employment and a more lenient, quicker path to residency.  

American companies are in desperate need of manual to highly technical labor to fill their openings. Growing concerns are staffing for eldercare jobs, childcare, the hospitality industry, as well as the construction industry. America also needs highly skilled foreign workers to maintain and advance our competitive edge in the technical and medical fields. Immigrants file twice as many patents as those born here, and start an astounding “25 percent of high-tech companies in the United States.” Many foreign medical doctors take jobs as internal specialists or family practitioners, vital roles that are lower-paying than other fields that U.S.-born physicians prefer.

Cutting pathways for these workers is hurting American companies by making it more difficult for them to service their customers and continue to expand and grow. This will impact America’s bottom line in addition to experiencing a brain drain that may get worse if foreign workers feel it is not worth the effort to buy into the American Dream.

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