Recruiters in the staffing industry who specialize in tech jobs have every reason to celebrate the U.S. Court of Appeals decision that declined to reinstate President Trump’s travel ban involving seven predominantly Muslim countries.
The executive order “blindsided the technology industry,” reports the LA Times, adding that the “tech sector relies heavily on foreign-born software engineers to meet its staffing needs.”
Consider that more than one-third – 37 percent – of Silicon Valley workers are foreign born, non-US citizens who came to this country to fill a specific technology job. Likewise, they also represent 74 percent of the area’s computer and mathematical workers between the ages of 25 and 44.
A travel ban would be disastrous for the industry, forcing some tech companies to do more than just voice their concerns.
Tim Cook, CEO at Apple, was considering legal action before the court’s decision, stating that “Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do.”
Likewise, Google created a $2 million crisis fund that can be matched with up to $2 million in donations from employees, totaling $4 million, for four organizations: the American Civil Liberties Union, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee and The UN Refugee Agency.
Trump’s order also crossed the line for another industry leader – Satya Nadella, the CEO at Microsoft, who immigrated to the US from India. “The company committed to providing legal advice and assistance to its 76 employees who are citizens of the seven banned countries.” So did Amazon, which notified its employees via email about the potential impact of Trump’s order and offered legal assistance to affected employees.
No doubt, there is strength in numbers, especially when those involved are established corporations with global influence, brand recognition, and sufficient legal and financial resources to do courtroom battle.
But the Trump administration isn’t surrendering – at least not yet. It plans on rolling out a revised executive order on immigration with one notable change – it will not apply to green card holders. However, legal experts believe the ban is dead, especially since an intelligence assessment document issued by Homeland Security rejects President Trump’s case for a travel ban.
Meanwhile, President Trump won’t win any popularity contests in Silicon Valley. The tech sector tends to be politically liberal and denounced many of his platforms like anti-immigration during the election cycle.
Of course, it didn’t help that during the presidential campaign, Trump verbally attacked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as owner of The Washington Post, rallied people to boycott Apple because of its stance on privacy, and that his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, believes “there are too many Asian CEOs in Silicon Valley.”
But an olive branch was offered back in Dec. when then President-elect Trump invited American tech leaders and gurus from companies like Cisco and Oracle to attend a round table discussion.
Hmmm….Wondered what was discussed. Probably not immigration.
Meanwhile, some tech recruiters in the staffing industry are still holding their breath regarding this immigration ban. Maybe you’re one of them. If you can’t recruit H1B or foreign workers, where will you find enough individuals who possess the tech competencies, savvy and experiences needed to fill highly skilled jobs?
This could be among the biggest challenges you end up facing in your career. But don’t panic. Like recruiters, companies in the tech sector are resourceful and imaginative. By working with with them and other industry peers, you will jointly discover new ways to build alternative pipelines for talent – no matter what.