President’s Day Special: Immigration and the Elections – A Rare Positive Story…

Kris Dunn Recruiting, Sourcing

Time for a little flag-waving on President’s Day…

I’m not a big political person with this blog, so it stands to reason that I don’t talk a lot aboutFrank_doing_bush_2  Democrats/Republicans, the policies of either party, or the ongoing presidential race. 

One presidential topic that interests me a lot as a HR person is immigration.  But my interest in immigration has nothing to with I-9 guidelines, building a wall on the Mexican border or deportation. 

My interest is more on the Visa side of things.  Doing HR for a software company, we support and sponsor multiple employees in the US Immigration Process.  It’s a win/win for us – it expands our pool of candidates available for key positions, and it’s obvoiusly good for the employees we support in this fashion.

So, with all the negative stories about the ills of immigration, let’s focus on a positive, in a knowledge-based economy.

The crazy thing?  We get so busy in the day-to-day details of running the business that we often forget that the employees we support in the immigration process are often experiencing things in the U.S. for the first time. 

Case in point – this brief conversation I had in our hallway, with an employee whom we sponsor:

KD – Hi, John (name changed to protect the identity).  How are things?  Thanks for sending that email about your son – he seems pretty sharp!

John – You are welcome.

KD – What else is going on?

John – I’m watching the presidential race with great interest.  It’s fascinating…

KD – Yes, it makes for great theatre.  Looks like the Republican side is basically done, hard to tell what’s going to happen with Clinton/Obama

John – The fascinating thing to me is that anybody can emerge and do something like run for president.  In my country, the ability to lead is predicated more on family ties and the caste system.  Here, it’s wide open in comparison.

KD – uh (uncomfortable silence as I realize I can’t compare and contrast the US system versus that of his home country) yeah.  It’s good to hear a perspective from someone who has experienced another system.

KD – (Thinking to self as I walk back to my office – it’s pretty cool to live here…)

And that’s the strength of immigration into our country.  Talent, we don’t have enough of, coming to Amercia and loving it.  Telling their family of the wide open political system (at least in comparison) and the positives of the U.S.  Whether it’s war, the economy or political mudslinging, there are countless distractions that cause much handwringing and make us question whether we are going to make it.

Leave it to someone without citizenship rights living among us to put it all in perspective.

Kris Dunn

Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.