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Key 2016 Election Issues: Immigration



The fourth issue that, again, is kind of tied to the employment area is immigration and immigration reform, which obviously is maybe where there's the starkest difference between the candidates in terms of policy.

Hillary, very significant proponent of immigration reform. The term she frequently uses is the path to citizenship, so she's really looking to try to get people that are here now, undocumented immigrants, to be citizens. She's very much supportive of President Obama's previous policy moves that kind of got hung up in the Supreme Court--but to have children that are here to become legal citizens, as well as parents of children that are legal immigrants to also become both legal and able to work in the US.

She also has been very supportive of the H-1B visa program, which a lot of businesses are interested in for bringing in higher skilled personnel. But she has been very clear that she would see that program as being kind of secondary in priority to the broader immigration reform area.

Trump's been very clear about what his stance on things are-- build the wall. He's softened his stance on kind of a broad deportation somewhat.

He's very much advocating movement to using the e-verify system, which is a federal database that employers can use to verify whether an employment applicant is authorized to work in the United States. There are some states and some industries that use that now. He's advocating a much broader application of that.

On the visa system, he's actually not a proponent of that at all. He really wants businesses to really consider hiring American talent and American workers before they would go out and try to fill a job with a foreign worker they would bring in under an H-1B visa. There are some employers that would find it very attractive to have access to a larger labor force, especially in some industries and some regions of the country where that might be a greater opportunity for them.

There's been other businesses that we hear from now that really feel they are at a competitive disadvantage if they're trying to follow the immigration rules now, and competing companies aren't. They think that's a real significant competitive issue for them. So this, again, would be an area where all the way from is there an ability to access a broader labor source, to how the visa process works, or some of our clients that are in high tech industries that really want an easier way to bring in skilled labor from overseas through some of the visa programs and are waiting to see how some of this works out from an immigration standpoint as well.

I think some of the things could go into effect relatively quickly. Some would need congressional approval. Some would obviously be very significant comments in the public realm, and there'd be a lot of public opinion that would have to be taken into account.

If they were going to allow for broader use of e-verify, for example, that's probably something that could go into place relatively quickly if that was the decision. The programs are already in place. It's already in use by some employers. People know how that works.

If there's going to be a broad change in how long people have to be in the country before they can work and things like, probably a little bit longer, probably a little bit more legislative impacts relative to that. If there was time to plan and really chart out what the impact might be on your labor availability or your labor force, it would be probably worthwhile to take that time or have a little bit of time to determine how you would approach that.

A place like Paychex, really helpful in supporting a lot of the ancillary pieces of this-- I-9's, the things you would have to do to really make sure that somebody is authorized to work. Those are all things we can help with. E-verify we can help with. So there's definitely pieces of this in terms of the moving parts that we have the ability to support clients with. As well, it's another area where we provide a lot of very detailed analysis based on how things could happen. Educationally, these are things that an employer might have to bear in mind.

So it's again another area where we can provide in some ways some specific help, but more generally a lot of insight into what might happen and how you might want to make some decisions based on how things will play out as you're looking down the road strategically.

Key 2016 Election Issues

Part 1: Tax Reform | Part 2: Health Care Reform | Part 3: Employment Law | Part 5: Retirement

This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. Paychex is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, Paychex. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant.
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