of getting one is less than 50 percent,”
Other proposals would boost
salary thresholds for workers and
remove loopholes in the existing H-1B
regulations that let some work for less
money than U.S. counterparts. While
there is generally bipartisan support
for a vetting process to ensure U.S.
workers are not being replaced by
cheap foreign labor, employers are still
concerned that reforms could curtail
their access to talent.
In the meantime, Stock said, these
employers are seeking “as many H-1Bs
as they can this season” before there
are changes to the law, and they’re also
ensuring their salaries are competitive.
Companies are also eyeing their
vendor relationships to assess their
dependence on foreign workers and
how changes could impact their ability
to deliver products or services.
Dick Burke, CEO at Envoy, a
company that helps secure work
authorizations across the globe, said
many employers are seeking to move
foreign workers to “higher ground” by
securing more durable authorization.
Mexican and Canadian citizens can
be moved to a NAFTA Professional
(TN) work visa and others can use
an L-1 work visa, a class designed to
help multinationals move more people
around. Burke said other companies
are even trying to help employees
obtain a green card as a legal
“They’re really trying to take
advantage of the opportunities that
the immigration process permits and
we’re helping our [clients] do that,”
TRAVEL BAN “UNPREDICTABLE”
While employers anticipate changes
in the H-1B program in the coming
year, President Trump’s travel ban
executive order has been a more
Dunn said it is difficult to contend
with the new “unpredictability of rules
that government may require them to
“It was just sprung on companies
and business travel was certainly
disrupted and then plans for future
travel have been put on hold,” said
Companies have been
communicating with their “employees
of concern” about adjustments and
status of the ban, he said. And while
some of these companies have been
holding town hall-type meetings
to lend support to foreign national
workers, others have been taking a
“wait and see” approach.
Stock said the ban has led to a great
deal of uncertainty in the business
community as it was “unprecedented
in scope” and not tethered to “any
realistic risk/benefit analysis.”
While employers remain at
the mercy of federal regulations,
Burke said, many are deciding to
“become more vocal” with their
There’s not only concern about
changes to immigration in the
United States but about how foreign
companies with global operations.
There’s a fear that if you’re not going
to let our people come in, we’re going
to make it very difficult for you to
transact business in our country,” said
CRAIG GUILLOT is a writer and
photographer based in New Orleans. He
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
governments could respond with
potential retaliation. The perception
that the travel ban, now being fought
in the courts, focuses on Muslims
may cause retribution in the global
economy, Burke said.
India is the biggest provider of
H-1B workers, making up nearly 70
percent of the foreign workforce.
“There’s big concern for
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