Recently the immigration media coverage has focused on the influx of unaccompanied minors flooding the southern US border. However, little attention has been paid to the White House reaching out to US businesses to seek their opinion on immigration matters. The White House is looking to collaborate on immigration reform and learn how new policies can benefit US business.
Throughout the summer there have been over 20 meetings between officials from the White House and business leaders from industries such as technology, construction and agriculture.
Tech industry representatives that rely on skilled workers coming to the US through programs such as the H-1B Visa would like to see even greater ease for educated skilled workers to enter the country. One proposed suggestion is to eliminate counting workers’ spouses against the 140,000 per year visa cap currently on the books. The tech industry would also like to see unused visas from the previous year rolled over to the next cap year.
Construction companies would like to see work permits issued to certain immigrants currently in the country illegally, and that those workers be required to work for companies that only hire legal immigrant. This would ensure fair treatment of workers as well as minimize “all cash” payments for illegals.
Presently, Mr. Obama has not made any decisions regarding immigration matters as they relate to business – however, he is considering taking steps to unilaterally defer deportation for a large number of illegal immigrants.