Before Trump was hired, err, voted in as President. I was asked to respond to this question:
What impact do you think Trump will have on immigrant hiring?
My response was probably a bit more positive at that point, pre-Trump than it is now, but I still remain bullish on immigrant hiring. Why? Because it’s what America actually wants! I still believe that any President wants what is best for America. How they get there might be drastically different, but Trump is very similar to many Presidents we have.
Even his recent Executive Order to “Buy American, Hire American” (My grandparents who retired from GM would love this, BTW!) has little if any impact on actual H1-B hiring. H1-B hiring is broken, and random, and needs major overall, everyone can agree on that! Not hiring immigrants is just ignorant and uninformed.
Trump is easily swayed by high public opinion. He cares about what people think of him. No, really! He actually does, probably more than any other President we’ve ever had. What he doesn’t care about is crazy folks yelling on the fringes. He cares about being ‘popular’. American businesses need immigrant workers. If he gives this to them, he’ll be popular with people he views as peers in many ways.
CareerBuilder released a study today showing 33% of American companies plan on hiring immigrant workers, which is virtually unchanged from this time last year. Also, the American public doesn’t view immigrant hiring as a challenge to their livelihood. A whopping 90% feel like immigrant hiring has no impact on their career possibilities. That’s a giant number!
If you put all the psychology and data together, I think we’ll get to a place in America and the hiring of immigrants that makes more sense than what we have now. A lottery system? That’s what we pin our hopes on for American companies!? No one in business thinks this system is good. Trump is all about, well, that changes daily, but let’s say he’s a little more consistent on what American businesses want.
I can foresee, for good or bad I’m not sure, a tiered system of immigrant hiring. The Visa system really has already created this. Professional workers get preference over service level, unskilled immigrant workers. I can see this widening as this is what Trump voters are really worried about. They aren’t worried about the Software Engineer or Doctor coming into America, they’re worried about that cook at Applebee’s, the immigrant on the manufacturing line, etc.
We know the reality, most American workers don’t want those jobs anyway, but they feel that having an immigrant take those jobs is somehow holding them back. The real issue is American companies offshoring high paid manufacturing jobs, not highly skilled professionals coming into the states. Again, the CareerBuilder study backs up this assertion, “I’m not worried about an immigrant taking my job” because immigrants don’t take normal American jobs, they take the jobs on the fringes – high-end and low-end.