Business Leaders: Trump Immigration Policies Affecting Oklahoma Workforce

Monday, September 17th 2018, 5:43 pm
By: News On 6

New details show how the President's immigration policies are impacting Oklahoma.

The Trump administration has been trying to limit the number of legal immigrants into the U.S. which is hurting some Oklahoma businesses.  

Some industries in our state, including the third largest money-maker, said they're having a tough time finding enough people to get their work done.

Under the Trump administration, H-1B visas are down by 40 percent.

Those normally go to legal immigrants looking to work in the U.S.

Oklahoma's hospitality industry said it uses legal H-1B immigrants for jobs like housekeeping and maintenance. 

It's also hurting rural hospitals which rely on visa-holding doctors and nurses to come to communities left behind by natural born Oklahomans.

Plus, construction and home building are already suffering from widespread labor shortages.

"We're seeing it across the board as far as visas, workforce and one of the things we're doing to combat that as a home builders association both locally, as a state and nationally is we're getting back to the trades," said Tony Foust with the Central Oklahoma Homebuilders Association.

The Census Bureau said Oklahoma is home to more than 235,000 foreign-born legal immigrants.