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Which Immigration Policies Are Best for Business?

Are American businesses better served by restricting immigration policy, or expanding programs that attract skilled workers from abroad?

A certain businessman-turned-politician with amazing hair has made controversial remarks about, among other things, the H1-B visa, which allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.

In a debate last month, Trump called this type of provision “very bad for workers.” But for every comment made about restricting immigration policy, there is somebody else out there talking about its expansion. And guess what, they both think they have the good of American businesses in mind.

Nebraska lawmakers just approved a law allowing certain immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children to work in health care, education and dozens of other professions that require state licenses. While many of these folks achieved lawful status under President Obama’s Dream Act, they still faced challenges getting certified in their home state.

Read: State Allows Licenses for Thousands of Immigrants

According to the AP, the Nebraska plan is being touted by supporters as a way to fill jobs in a state with low unemployment and a worker shortage in manufacturing and other fields. 

Other states have also made changes to their laws on professional licenses, and many feel that even the H1-B visa should be adapted to account for workforce skill gaps. When Trump made his comments last month, Fast Company magazine said his views freaked out Silicon Valley's wealthiest executives, like Mark Zuckerberg, who have called for the expansion of the H-1B visa program to attract more skilled engineers from abroad.

Unfortunately, America isn’t very good at agreeing to disagree, so will probably disagree to agree. Or, something…

This is IEN Now.

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