There was much optimism among immigrants and immigrant advocates when Joe Biden became president. The tech industry, too, was hopeful that four years of President Trump’s restrictive policies and actions toward all types of migrants would come to an end. Among other things, this would allow Silicon Valley to get an influx of new engineers and entrepreneurs to come from overseas. After six months with the new administration, NBC reports that this has not been the case.
The Biden administration has made inroads to reuniting families separated at the border and more recently provided a safe haven for refugees. Still, its to-do list is long, led by such priorities as vaccinating people against COVID-19 and dealing with a surge at the Southern border.
Some expected this from a Democratic administration, which traditionally focuses less on business than their Republican counterparts. But they also expected the administration to remove many of the regulations and bureaucratic hurdles for visas supposedly designed to protect high-paying jobs for Americans.
According to policy experts, the laws were not altered all that much under the Trump administration. Instead, the former president’s staff found it easier to defund agencies and cut staff as a way to make the application process prohibitively long and challenging.
There are also still long waits to process applications and for visa applicants to do their interviews – this was partly due to overseas staff going back to the U.S. at the beginning of the pandemic.
Crippling the recovery?
There is much discussion in the media about economic recovery. The administration and the government agencies took many steps so far, but time is running out. Many believe that the continued crippling of the tech industry through active policies or inaction could impact the economy for years. While there are many issues to address by Biden, the opening of visas for tech people is an effective way to keep growing the U.S. economy and maintaining the country’s place as the top tech innovator.