Joe Biden as Vice President of the United States during a speech-message to the Ukrainian Parliament. Kyiv, Ukraine, December 08, 2015. (Shutterstock)
By Stuart Anderson, Forbes
Joe Biden is the next president of the United States. Unless Democrats win two runoff elections in Georgia, Biden may not have a Democratic majority in the Senate, making ambitious immigration legislation more challenging. Despite that, Joe Biden will have an opportunity to enact significant changes to U.S. immigration policy.
Legal Immigration: By 2021, Donald Trump will have reduced legal immigration by up to 49% since becoming president – without any change in U.S. immigration law, according to a National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) analysis. Reducing legal immigration most harms refugees, employers and Americans who want to live with their spouses, parents or children, but it also affects the country’s future labor force and economic growth: “Average annual labor force growth, a key component of the nation’s economic growth, will be approximately 59% lower as a result of the administration’s immigration policies, if the policies continue,” according to the NFAP analysis. Reversing these policies could be a vital part of the Biden immigration agenda.
High-Skilled Immigration: If the Biden administration understands only one thing about business immigration, it should be this: H-1B visas are inextricably linked with the ability of highly educated people to become employment-based immigrants and eventually American citizens. Restrictions on H-1B visas can prevent the next potential founder of a billion-dollar company from gaining a green card and certainly will hurt international students. In addition to academic research that shows imposing H-1B restrictions push more jobs outside the United States, the country’s future can be affected in other ways: 75% – 30 out of 40 – of the finalists of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search had parents who worked in America on H-1B visas.