Industry leaders in the technology sector have expressed concerns over how the Trump administration’s proposed changes to immigration law could affect their own companies and the American economy over all. While some of these tech leaders were based in Silicon Valley, many of the most outspoken of the bunch are headquartered in Chicago’s tech startup sector. One CEO – Rishi Shah of ContextMedia – stated that if immigration reform limited the number of specialists that could come into the country, technology companies will go to countries that don’t limit them.
Opponents of the upcoming administration’s stance on immigration cite that 50% of the tech startups in the country valued over $1 billion were founded by immigrants. Those companies are valued at $168 billion in total and create 760 jobs for Americans each, on average. 71% of those tech startups reported having an immigrant holding a key position within the company.
Some speculate that CEOs reliant on immigrants to hold major portions of their companies together would be hesitant to, but not against, using a foreign workforce. Many tasks typical of a tech company are focused entirely through computer work and networking. Thanks to the internet improving year-by-year, feasibly most jobs could be completed anywhere on Earth. This means tech companies that lose employees due to immigration could simply hire people in other countries, essentially taking revenue out of America’s pocket.
EDUCATION IN THE STATES COULD BE AFFECTED
The ramifications of new immigration reform might even reach America’s higher education system. Students of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors might not come to the country for their degrees knowing that employment in the States would be unlikely. If they do complete a higher degree here, they could pack up and return home or another country afterwards instead.
The Chicago Tribune published an article discussing this topic recently; click here to read it in full. For more information about immigration law or H-1B specialist employment visas, you can contact USILaw and our Montgomery County immigration attorneys.