Since the Trump administration’s implementation of hardline immigration policies, companies in Illinois have been having trouble filling their open positions. Trump’s policies have focused on reducing both legal and illegal immigration. Many companies rely on legal immigrants to fill positions for which they have exhausted their searches. Additional changes are scheduled to come into effect and could harm the economy even more.
Harder to Get Work Visas
Employers that have positions that require highly skilled workers often struggle to find employees to fill them. They frequently turn to foreign workers who have the skills they need and seek to obtain H-1B visas for them. However, the process has become much more difficult since Trump took office. The Migration Policy Institute reports that the administration has made changes to the procedures for processing visa applications, regulations, and the administrative guidelines. All of the changes have been made to curb legal immigration with work visas.
At the same time, unemployment fell below 4 percent. In the middle of 2018, there were 6 million jobs that were vacant in the U.S. The U.S. Customs and Immigration Services is also denying and challenging H-1B visa applications. During the first eight months of 2017, employers that had applied for H-1B visas received 45 percent more requests for evidence forms, which require employers to prove that they really need the foreign workers.
Likely to Become More Difficult
Some additional changes to the immigration regulations and administrative guidelines could soon make it even more difficult for businesses to get visas for the workers that they need. One change will allow adjudicators with the USCIS to deny applications and petitions outright without having to send requests for evidence or notices of their intent to deny. This means that the USCIS could begin deportation and removal proceedings when H-1B visas expire even if the workers are waiting for their extension applications to be adjudicated.
The impact of immigration policies may include slowed economic growth and less innovation. Some companies that are unable to fill positions may be unable to grow or may be forced to close.