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Envoy Immigration Policy Survey Brief

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© 2021, Envoy Global Inc., All Rights Reserved Immigration Policy Survey Brief State of Immigration In November, former Vice President Joe Biden defeated incumbent President Donald Trump in the election, marking a significant turning point for many areas of government policy, immigration included. President-elect Biden's platform is decidedly more progressive than that carried out by the Trump administration over the past four years, which sought to place limits on immigration to the U.S. While Biden has promised to immediately reverse several Trump-era policies and rules, it remains to be seen how significantly immigration policy in the U.S. will evolve over the next four years, following a period of heightened scrutiny as well as rising anti-immigrant sentiment. Between November 17 and December 12, 2020, Envoy Global surveyed 215 U.S. employers to learn how specific, Trump-era policy changes have affected immigration programs at their organizations, as well as their attitudes towards future immigration reforms, including specific proposals put forward by legislators. Although certain immigration restrictions from the Trump administration are being challenged in court and others are yet to be fully implemented, the results of our survey found that many of the more than 400 policies and rules put in place between 2017 and 2020 have caused delays and increased costs for employers. More importantly, respondents indicated that these policies have directly led to an increase in offshoring and outsourcing, while only causing a limited increase in domestic hiring. Respondents also expressed that certain proposed policies together may have a significant impact on their ability to recruit foreign talent in the future. The regulations introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in unprecedented changes to the foreign talent pipeline in the U.S. Between January and April 2020, the number of immigrant and non- immigrant visas issued to foreign nationals declined by a staggering 93.2% 1 due to travel bans, country-wide lockdowns, consulate and embassy closures and restrictionist visa adjudication policies. In addition, the Trump administration has issued 48 policy changes that affected the immigration system since the start of the pandemic, citing an even more pressing need to protect American workers in the face of rising unemployment. This assertion runs contrary to the demand for foreign talent expressed by those we surveyed. Nearly twice as many respondents surveyed (36%) said there are too few green cards available each year versus too many (18%); 39% said the number was just right. Likewise, 2.4 times as many respondents (41%) said there were too few H-1B visas available versus too many (17%), and 37% said the amount is correct. These findings align with current data on the STEM skills gap in the U.S. Despite the ensuing economic distress in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rates for computer science and mathematical occupations remained at just 3.0% in December 2020 2 , close to what they were before the pandemic's onset in March. Meanwhile, the more general unemployment rate peaked at 14.4% in April 3 and remained at 6.5% in December 2020.* 1 American Immigration Council, "The Impact of COVID-19 on Noncitizens and Across the U.S. Immigration System." September 2020. 2 Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Labor Force Statistics From Current Population Survey." December 2020. 3 Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Labor Force Statistics From Current Population Survey." April 2020. * Data not subjected to seasonal adjustment process

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