Companies from various industrial branches say that the country’s immigration policies which constrict the flow of foreign workers into the United States negatively affect their operations.
The New York Times writes that the Trump administration’s policy includes denying more work visas, asking applicants to provide additional information and delaying approvals more frequently than just a year earlier, which in turn results in many businesses struggling to fill jobs with the foreign workers they need.
Due to the lack of workforce, many seasonal industries like hotels are forced to turn down customers or offer fewer services. The remaining employees also have to work additionally and some even decide to leave or work in countries where they can find jobs more easily.
“There have been delays in processing that we have not felt before,” said Dr. Andrew C. Yacht, chief academic officer at Northwell Health.
In April 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order which aims to put American workers first and directs government officials to “rigorously enforce” immigration laws. As a result, some have speculated that President Trump uses administrative means to reshape immigration policy because those changes have stalled on Capitol Hill.
“If they want to have a proposal on immigration, they should send it to Congress,” said Representative Ro Khanna. “The administration should engage in that conversation. To unilaterally and without any accountability change what Congress has authorized is not democratic.”
According to a recent analysis of government data, compared with the third quarter of 2017, in the last three months of the 2017 fiscal year, the denial rate for H-1B visa petitions for skilled foreign workers had increased 41 percent.
Experts further warn that if the trend of decreased immigration persists, the job market will likely face a lack of both high-skilled and low-skilled workers, especially as more baby boomers retire.
“A lot of our labor-force growth comes from immigrants and their children,” said Francine Blau, an economist at Cornell. “Without them, we’d suffer the problems associated with countries with an aging population, like Japan.”