Potential "fixes" for current immigration challenges may lead to additional hoops and diverse fees (whether one time or recurring) for employers, Mike Aitken of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Lynn Shotwell, Executive Director of American Council of International Personnel (ACIP), stated during a June 17th press briefing held at the SHRM's 2013 Conference and Exposition. Both SHRM and ACIP support immigration reform efforts that would lead to "certainty in hiring," increased efficiency and access to skilled talent.
The current system's reliance on lotteries and wait lists is not certain enough for US employers. Shotwell explained that employers would prefer an immigration process that ensures predictability. Certain employers would also prefer access to additional visa categories, such as an entrepreneur visa.
However, proposed legislation that addresses the current skills gap may have its costs. Fees paid by employers may rise in order to fund other aspects of an immigration reform package. Employers placing hires at a client site may face additional hurdles, including furnishing supplemental guarantees that hires are not displacing American workers and separate assurances that workers are being adequately supervised.
Current legislation in the Senate (S. 744) has positive aspects for employers, including placing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math fields) hires on a different visa path leading directly to permanent residency. However, this STEM process may need to clear various logistical hoops, and a current version may not include adequate identity theft safeguards.
Shotwell stated that she is optimistic Congress will pass meaningful immigration reform because this is a "problem we have to solve." Without procedural improvements, an employer may decide to leave the US in order to grow business and acquire talent.
Form I-9 and Immigration Issues Resource Center