President Trump’s executive order blocking immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries is raising worries about how a Trump presidency will affect Wisconsin’s workforce and visas that bring in skilled tech workers from overseas.
John Holevoet, director of government affairs for the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association, says the Trump administration’s initial action isn’t likely to affect many in-state workers. He pointed to some Somali workers working in Wisconsin and Minnesota as potentially being affected, but said he was generally skeptical about economic impacts. But he says he’s “somewhat concerned” about restricting H-1B visas.
Kurt Bauer, (pictured here) president and CEO of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, says WMC supports reforming the H-1B system to expand the number of visas given out. He adds that 64,000 H-1B visas is “probably not enough” for the growing needs of the American workforce, much less those of Wisconsin’s.
“Wisconsin has some of the best universities and colleges, public and private,” Bauer told WisBusiness.com this week. “We give [foreign students] the best education, and many want to stay here… But if we send them back to their countries, they are competing against us.”
He says that’s bad for the Wisconsin workforce, which had 6,414 H-1B visa applications certified in 2015. The average wage offer for these visa holders was $74,696, according to DOL’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification. Read the full story here.