It’s always tricky discussing the role of government in relation to businesses in America. Without getting into the deep stuff, it is worth a little discussion of how businesses and the government have different solutions to the question of immigration.
On one side of the room is the government. The government is committed to increasing domestic job growth, cutting down on unemployment rates, and generally giving the best prospects to their citizens.
This commitment comes with a lot obligations. One of the obligations is to ensure that enough jobs are available to skilled domestic workers. The way the government protects the American worker is by putting a cap on the number of immigrants allowed into the country each year. While the government does allow millions of immigrants into the country every year, that is only a small percentage of the total number of applicants. If the government did not have a strict policy on immigration then the number of foreign born Americans would outnumber American born citizens within a year.
The government has a number of different legal categories for new arrivals to the country. For example, the government has lawful permanent residence status, refugee status, naturalization status, nonimmigrant status, green card status, and more. It can take a long time for a fully qualified individual from a foreign country to get official status in the United States.
From the government’s perspective this is the best way to ensure that Americans get first shot at all the domestic job opportunities. The government does have a number of work-related visa options that allow some skilled foreigners to overstep the Visa and Green Card waiting list. PERM is a great example of one of these Visa options as it gives primacy to the work credentials of an individual over their country of origin.
This is the general way the government deals with immigration. It is somewhat at odds with how the business community sees the labor market and immigration flow.
Generally speaking, the business community puts more emphasis on skill than on nationality. To a firm in the United States it does not matter so much where a person is from. What matters is if they have skills that can help the company grow. As such, any limitations on bringing foreigners into the United States is seen as a roadblock to progress.
For businesses that want to hire more foreigners, the best thing they can do is make use of the PERM visa status and apply for group hires. It is common to put 5-10 individuals from all over the world on one file. The Department of Defense will have no issue with such an application as long as the domestic advertising requirements are met.