Immigration and business in NC in 2017: Three likely changes

Immigration law is changing at a rapid rate. Here are three likely changes and how will they impact North Carolina.

North Carolina is a state with many immigrants. The American Immigration Counsel reports that 7.6 percent of the state's population consists of foreign-born immigrants. Immigrants are an important part of the state's composition and changes that impact this sector will ripple down through the rest of the state.

This is particularly true for those involved in business. As such, entrepreneurs and business owners are wise to have a basic understanding of the expected upcoming changes so that they can take steps to shield their business interests.

What immigration changes are likely in 2017 and how will they impact my business?

Some current and potential changes that could impact businesses across North Carolina include:

  • Initiate "extreme vetting" against foreign nationals. President Donald Trump has already begun to take action to increase the vetting process by putting forward travel restrictions. This was done through an executive order which puts forward restrictions on immigration from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. This order has already created difficulties for businesses throughout the country as employees who were traveling to these countries for various reasons experienced difficulty to return to the United States. The order is likely a step towards the "extreme vetting" platform that President Trump proposed during his campaign. The details of the full vetting process are not yet known.
  • Jobs for Americans first. The president also promised that jobs would focus on hiring Americans first. This may translate to changes in the labor certification process; potentially requiring employers in North Carolina reach out to local labor markets before making positions available to foreign nationals.
  • Reverse previous executive order. President Trump has also stated that he would reverse executive orders issued by President Barack Obama. Orders at issue could include the International Entrepreneur Rule. This rule is designed to help encourage investments in business opportunities in the United States. Reversing this could impact funding for some businesses.

It is important to note that this is just a sampling of some of the many proposed changes.

If this area of law is always changing, why do I need to take steps to protect my business now?

Although changes are not a surprise, the rate of change in recent weeks has been very frequent. As such, the law will likely continue to change. Those who find themselves attempting to navigate these changes are wise to seek legal counsel. Your attorney will be able to help better ensure that you move forward with the option to resolve your issue that is best for your business interests.