At some of the country’s largest technology firms, technologists believe that a Biden-Harris White House will reverse Trump-era immigration policies, according to new data from Blind, which surveys anonymous technologists about a variety of current issues. That could result in some seismic change at many firms.
Overall, some 66 percent of technologists think that President-elect Biden will loosen restrictions on hiring skilled foreign workers once he takes office; around 74 percent think that he will “remove executive orders limiting high-skilled immigration”; and 64 percent assume that future White House policies will increase “the pipeline of foreign-born workers for technology firms.”
“With any new president, there are many unknowns,” read Blind’s blog posting on the data. “We don’t know which tech policies will be prioritized—or others that may come to the fore. However, tech professionals feel confident that this administration will make h1-b visas more accessible.”
But the degree to which technologists believe these changes will take place varies from firm to firm. For example, 82 percent of technologists at Oracle believe that Biden will loosen restrictions on hiring skilled foreign-born workers, versus the 58 percent at Uber who think the same. Here’s that full breakdown:
It’s a similar situation when it comes to the potential for Biden to increase the pipeline of foreign-born workers: The majority of those at companies such as Bloomberg and VMware seem to believe that’s going to come to pass, whereas those at Facebook, Uber, and Intel are much less convinced:
Substantial portions of technologists also believe that a Biden administration is going to end the executive orders that the Trump administration used to limit immigration via the H-1B and other means:
In the days preceding the election, Dice compared the respective H-1B policies of Biden and Donald Trump. Although the Trump administration has spent the past four years tweaking H-1B policy, including the visa’s wage and skill requirements, Biden’s campaign suggested it will revert to many Obama-era immigration policies.
Although Republican control of the Senate (which could very well happen, depending on January’s run-off elections in Georgia) could prevent a President Biden from pushing through broad-based immigration reform, a Biden administration could still reverse many of Trump’s executive orders. In addition, Biden could order U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to re-adjust their recent changes to visa requirements (such as a selection system based on H-1B applicants’ potential salaries).
Over at Forbes, there’s an extensive breakdown of the other ways that Biden could adjust immigration policy, including tweaking the per-country limit for employment-based immigration. In the meantime, though, it seems that many technologists at the nation’s largest technology companies believe that big changes to immigration policy are coming.