Insights for technology professionals

What Will Immigration Reform Do to Semiconductor Talent?

Posted on January 26, 2017 by Jack Trompert

immigration reform.jpg


In the week since January 20, 2017, the world of semiconductors, silicon, and engineers still has a lot in question. One of the biggest issues for the semiconductor industry is immigration reform.

How will immigration reform impact the semiconductor industry & its talent?


President Trump has taken a strong stance on immigration, promising to take jobs from immigrants and put them back into the hands of the American people. President Obama, on the other hand, passed a new regulation that would increase annual flow of H-1B visa workers and allow these foreign professionals to get permanent green card status to remain in the US. This would allow them to eventually gain citizenship, both for themselves and their families.

The tech sector draws a significant volume of highly-skilled talent from immigrants with H-1B visas, and the US economy owes a lot to these entrepreneurial and innovative minds. Immigration reform from the Trump Administration could hurt the tech industry by decreasing talent and thus our nation’s competitive advantage in the global economy and tech sector. Programs like the H-1B visas and the new regulations help to maintain competition among businesses and employers as well.

Rishi Shah, CEO of ContextMedia, believes America will suffer major losses with the decrease in foreign talent. “If the Trump administration curbs talent, especially high-tech workers, companies will go and take that economic growth and shift it to other markets. There would be nothing worse for American workers than to curb the inflow of talent that would further grow our economy.”

There’s a lot at stake here and companies need to prepare for whatever happens.

How is Talent 101 preparing for immigration reform?

At Talent 101, we have been proactive about preparing our business and our talent for any upcoming changes to immigration laws that may affect our industry. We worked closely with our attorney to update appropriate documents and ensure all our H1B visa employees will be within the minimum salary range for 2017.

Immigration is no simple issue. Immigrants built America and continue to start businesses, develop products and services and inventions that create more jobs for Americans, not take jobs away from them. However, there are some who have tried to take advantage of the system by methods like hiring cheap foreign labor over qualified talent from right here in America.

The tech sector and semiconductor industry must step up and, as Terry Howerton, founder of TechNexus, says, “acknowledge the bad actors among us.” If your semiconductor company, whether large and small, grows through innovation and by building teams of the best talent, then you’re doing it right. If your business strategy starts with filling vacancies based on the lowest labor cost, you’ve got it wrong.

“Smart H1B reform would accommodate the innovation economy’s need for more talent and excise the staffing firms or others that might be taking advantage of the same programs,” Howerton proposes.

As Howerton notes, “The immigrant entrepreneur is steeped in American history, and a major force driving our economy in recent decades.” We cannot neglect the importance this has for the country and economy.

To gain the most from H-1B programs, we’ve got to be fair players. At Talent 101, we’re committed to finding high-quality talent, not just the lowest cost.


Start learning more about building your best team in our Guide to Hiring Top Engineering Talent.


hire engineering talent guide

Topics: News, Semiconductor Talent

Jack Trompert

In 2010, Jack and Janet Trompert started Talent 101 with a clear new vision on how to deliver talent to the marketplace. To work at Talent 101 is to be a part of something creative and big. From our modest roots as an ambitious startup, to becoming a global workforce solution provider to the world’s most recognized semiconductor companies, our growth and momentum owes a lot to our strong company culture of customer service, can do attitude, sense of urgency and always focus on the client and talent.