CFGI quoted – “Immigration Reform Means Different Things to Clinton, Trump”


“U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have both said they will make changes to the country's immigration system, but what they actually intend to do is not certain.

“Trump has pledged strict immigration enforcement, mass deportations, mandatory E-Verify for employers, an overhaul of guest worker programs and a repeal of some of President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration…

“…Clinton has promised to renew movement on a comprehensive immigration reform package in her first 100 days in office…

“…‘Both nominees have proposed immigration reform principles including changes to the employment verification process and the availability of employment-based visas, which will have implications for the workplace,’ said Chatrane Birbal, a government relations senior advisor at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). ‘U.S. immigration policy changes will no doubt influence employment policy, sparking new workplace trends. HR professionals need to be proactive and aware of these changes to keep their organizations in compliance with employment and immigration laws, whether within the U.S. or globally.’

“…[Donald Trump] has said ‘that he wants to limit or even eliminate certain important immigration programs like the J-1 visa cultural exchange program or put a pause on the issuance of green cards and require employers to hire an American worker first before hiring an H-1B professional,’ said Rebecca Peters, director of government affairs at the Council for Global Immigration, an affiliate of SHRM. ‘These are all proposals that would limit employers' ability to hire the talent they need to grow innovation and jobs here at home and ultimately the economy.’

“…Clinton has stated that she would make comprehensive immigration reform a top priority during her first 100 days in office and expand upon  Obama's executive actions, which allow certain immigrants to defer deportation and apply for three-year work permits.

“She has indicated that the reform package would look similar to the legislation that cleared the U.S. Senate in 2013…

“…But ‘while Secretary Clinton wants to make immigration reform a priority, she has yet to fully lay out plans on high-skilled employment-based immigration,’ Peters said. 

“…Peters listed three areas where Clinton has stated a position that touches on high-skilled immigration, including:

  • “Enabling international students who complete master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields to move to green card status. 
  • “...Advocating for ‘start-up’ visas that allow entrepreneurs from abroad to come to the United States and build companies, creating jobs and opportunities for American workers. 
  • “Training up to 50,000 computer science teachers in the next decade and encouraging STEM programming in public schools. 

“…The 2016 U.S. congressional election results will be the unknown factor in the calculus for reforming immigration.

“…‘Clinton would need to find a way to work on her larger immigration reform goals in pieces, as any Republican majority in the House would likely want to first address an immigration border security or interior enforcement bill,’ Peters said.”

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