Worldwide ERC® Sends Biden-Harris Transition Team Public Policy Papers

Worldwide ERC® has sent public policy papers to the Biden-Harris transition team on key economic and tax relief as well as immigration solutions that will benefit the workforce mobility industry.

As we enter 2021 with a new Biden-Harris administration’s inauguration on January 20, it is imperative to bring the importance of the workforce mobility industry to the forefront of public policy decision-making with President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and new members of Congress. To aid in this task, Worldwide ERC® sent public policy papers to the Biden-Harris transition teams on key economic and tax relief and immigration solutions that will benefit the workforce mobility industry.

The Economy and Workforce Mobility

As the U.S. continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and fully recovering the economy, workforce mobility will play a key role with many employers resuming physical work assignments. Worldwide ERC®’s public policy paper on the economy and workforce mobility addresses the needs that must be met to facilitate assignments, relocations and remote work. Such solutions are crucial in helping the U.S. economy return to its pre-pandemic productivity. Worldwide ERC® recommends that the new Administration and Congress act on the following:

  • Extend the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – A majority of employers within workforce mobility are small businesses that continue to struggle financially and desperately need additional funding to weather the pandemic and reduce the spread of the virus. If not enacted in this Congress, provide additional funding for the PPP and allow businesses to deduct expenses that are otherwise deductible if the business receives forgiveness under the PPP for those expenses.
  • Enact the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act – Currently, the large variance of states with very different taxation requirements for out-of-state workers has caused a patchwork of challenging tax rules for employers and their mobile workforces. Enact S. 604/H.R. 5674 to provide a clear and uniform framework for when state governments may tax nonresident employees who travel to states to temporarily perform work.
  • Enable e-Modernization – The transfer of an employee often involves the sale and/or purchase of a home, and e-commerce can make those transactions easier. Enact legislation including the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act (S. 3533/ H.R 6364) to foster electronic transactions.
  • Restore the Moving Expense Deduction and Exclusion – Eliminated through December 31, 2025 as part of the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, deduction and exclusion together are a vital tax relief tool that makes employee relocation more affordable, facilitates worker mobility and helps the moving industry that supports 480,000 jobs annually.

Immigration and Workforce Mobility

Immigration policies play a critical role in workforce mobility, helping employers facilitate relocations or transfer foreign-born workers to complement the American workforce. Doing so makes the workforce even stronger while driving economic growth and creating jobs. However, restrictions over the last several years have made workforce immigration more difficult. Worldwide ERC®’s public policy paper on immigration and workforce mobility argues for solutions that reverse harmful decisions made over the last year and calls for broader legislative reforms to help employers and workers thrive during post-pandemic recovery.

In the near term, Worldwide ERC® recommends that the new Administration and Congress act on the following:

  • Reverse the Visa Entry and Country-Specific Bans – If the immigrant and nonimmigrant presidential proclamations are extended at the end of this year, reverse them and restrictions limiting individuals from certain countries from immigrating or traveling to the United States.
  • Remove the Green Card Per-Country Caps – If the bill does not pass on an end-of-the-year vehicle, re-introduce and enact the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act (S. 386/H.R. 1044) to remove green card per-country limits, allowing for many foreign-born workers to more easily contribute to U.S. economic growth in a first-come first-served employment-based green card process.
  • Protect the H-4 Work Authorization Rule – If the H-4 work authorization rule for H-1B spouses is rescinded before the current Administration leaves office, then reinstate it so that H-4 visa holders, the majority of whom are women, can work in the United States, should opportunities be available.
  • Grant Relief to “Dreamers” – Introduce and enact legislation to make law the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to provide legal status and work authorization to recipients, many of whom already play important roles in the U.S. workforce.

In the longer term, Worldwide ERC® recommends that the new Administration and Congress act on the following:

  • Modernize the Nonimmigrant and Immigrant Employment-Based System – Employers and workers need a predictable and reliable system that provides the green cards and L, H-1B and other nonimmigrant visas needed to recruit, deploy, transfer and retain top world talent.
  • Increase Certainty and Save Resources with Trusted Employer – A Trusted Employer program would help eliminate any abuses by recognizing employers who are known to the government, saving precious resources. This program would also help increase business certainty in workforce planning and mobility.
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How This Impacts Mobility

Public policy and advocacy is a central part of how Worldwide ERC® works to support our members while strengthening the workforce mobility industry. The policy papers sent to the incoming administration and Congress are just the first step towards additional initiatives that will occur as we continue to advocate for solutions that benefit the workforce mobility industry in the coming years of the new administration and Congress. Should any member have questions regarding these papers, please reach out to Vice President of Member Engagement and Public Policy Rebecca Peters, rpeters@worldwideerc.org.