Apparently this week is the week for socially conscious posts in the Businesstastic blog. We would be amiss if we did not address the issue of international workers, start ups, and the travel ban. Turns out, that it is incredibly limiting to isolate yourself – whether as an individual or a nation – when it comes to innovation. Presently, it is becoming harder for folks to get Visas for the US. The H1-B Visa is especially important as it the Visa that allows specialized internationals into the country for a longer period of time. Doctors, engineers, computer scientists, business professionals, and more are able to use the H1-B visa to get into and remain in the US, and that is crucial.
Historically speaking, the upper echelons of a society tend to be wise to when things become inhospitable for them, and they will remove themselves from those situations. It’s known as Brain Drain when the educated classes migrate out of a country, and it isn’t a good thing. However, keeping those educated types out of a country accomplishes much the same thing. While the current administration has claimed that it is very business friendly, it appears that the businesses and companies that it is friendly to are the biggest ones with the deepest pockets.
It isn’t so much of a brain drain that we are looking at, but a brain block. That block is pushing brilliant people from around the world to not look at the US, instead, they are looking at other, more welcoming countries like Canada to immigrate.
Between net neutrality, an unwelcoming atmosphere for educated internationals, and a focus on big businesses it is no wonder that startups are looking elsewhere to base their business. A small business, as we’ve mentioned before, has little room for overhead and finding a nation with favorable taxes, access to brilliant minds, and lower costs of living all contribute to cost saving. If you had the choice between running a company with the best and brightest, at a lower cost, with access to excellent tech and the potential for more like minded companies and fighting tooth and nail to keep an employee from being sent back to their country of origin while paying a premium for internet access, which would you take?
As a business that deals with tech, the internet, and international employees, we have a responsibility to our employees to fight for their rights, even if they aren’t natural born US citizens. Our employees deserve to feel welcome and cared for no matter where they were born. The plaque on the Statue of Liberty is a basis for how the country ought to treat immigrants of every race, creed, and color.
If we, as small businesses, do not step up and fight for the right to employ not just American citizens, but citizens of other countries, then we will all suffer. Whether it be a lack of innovation or simply falling behind in other ways, we will fall behind the countries who are welcoming those seeking better employment or living.
Let us know what you think, or if you are interested in working for an employer who respects everyone.