By Alan Murray and David Meyer
August 24, 2018

Good morning!

It’s not news that big businesses oppose the Trump administration’s clamp down on immigration. But it is news—and a sign of growing frustration—that they decided to go public with their criticism yesterday. The Business Roundtable released a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, signed by a Who’s Who of Fortune 500 CEOs, complaining that changing immigration policies “are causing considerable anxiety for many thousands of our employees while threatening to disrupt company operations.”

I talked yesterday with Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, who heads the BRT immigration effort, and asked him: why now? “We are beginning to see changes in policy decisions and in behavior of how decisions are being implemented…and at the same time, we are also facing effectively full employment,” he said. The result is a squeeze on talent at the moment companies most need it to grow. “It’s a huge problem,” Robbins said. “We are educating students at our phenomenal universities, but they feel as though they have to go back to their home countries and create companies that compete with us.”

It’s not clear if the business lament will have any effect, especially at a time when Republicans are counting on Trump’s immigration policies and rhetoric to motivate Republican voters to go to the polls in November. But the argument needs to be heard. The talent agenda should include both aggressive training programs and smart immigration policies.

Since it’s Friday, some feedback. LM writes: “Perhaps, it is my parochial school education, but I was taught to follow a salutation, such as ‘Good morning’ with an exclamation point. The period you use lets me down.” I don’t recall any such rule from my Strunk and White. But in LM’s honor, I’ll give it a try.

More news below, including Geoff Colvin’s interview with Brad Smith, who is stepping down after 11 years at the helm of Intuit.

Alan Murray


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