Business and the Workforce

The enforcement of immigration laws is a complex and hotly-debated topic. Learn more about the costs of immigration enforcement and the ways in which the U.S. can enforce our immigration laws humanely and in a manner that ensures due process.

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May 13, 2013
How High-Skilled Immigrants Create Jobs and Help Build the U.S. Economy With the U.S. economy still recovering, it may seem counterintuitive to believe that any industry would benefit from having...
May 13, 2013
Innovation, Skilled Immigration, and H-1B Visas in U.S. Metropolitan Areas Although immigration policy is debated at the national level, its impact is most often felt in local and regional...
March 1, 2013
In the spirit of bipartisan immigration reform, a geographically diverse contingent from both chambers of Congress have introduced legislation to strengthen high-skilled immigration and spur economic...
March 15, 2012
The political discourse surrounding the incorporation of immigrants into the U.S. labor market tends to sort immigrant workers into two broad and mutually exclusive categories: high-skilled workers...
March 4, 2012
With the U.S. economy in the midst of a prolonged slump, it’s hard to believe that any industry would actually benefit from having more workers. But that is precisely the case when it comes to those...
January 25, 2012
There is widespread agreement across a number of key economic planning groups that immigrant entrepreneurs create jobs and strengthen the economy. Yet, the U.S. immigration system often forces out...
December 8, 2011
When Americans picture an immigrant entrepreneur, they likely imagine a man who began the migration of his family, later bringing his wife over to become a volunteer assistant in the shop. This image...
March 30, 2011
It might seem that persistently high unemployment rates over the past few years have rendered moot the debate over whether or not the United States really “needs” the highly skilled foreign workers...
June 23, 2010
The 2000 Census found that immigrants, while accounting for 12 percent of the population, made up nearly half of the all scientists and engineers with doctorate degrees. Nearly 70 percent of the men...
July 14, 2009
Anti-immigrant groups have repeatedly tried to drive a wedge between African Americans and immigrants by capitalizing on the myth that immigrants take American jobs. In a new Perspectives piece for...
December 15, 2014
The Council, with AILA, filed an amicus brief arguing that a district court has jurisdiction to review procedures followed by USCIS to revoke an employment-based visa petition. Amici argue that INA § 242(a)(2)(B), which limits judicial review over certain discretionary decisions, does not preclude review over the question of whether USCIS was required to provide notice of the visa petition revocation proceedings to the beneficiary. This is particularly true where, as in this case, the beneficiary had utilized the “porting” provision of INA § 204(j) to change employers more than 2 ½ years earlier, but USCIS issued its notice of intent to revoke only to the former employer and revoked the petition when the former employer did not respond.
Valorem, an IT consulting company, petitioned to employ a software developer for three years in H-1B status as part of a project development team at its office. Initially, USCIS denied the petition, but later – after Valorem, represented by AILA member Susan Bond, filed suit – approved it for one year.
August 29, 2014
The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA), the administrative body at the Department of Labor that reviews denials of PERM labor certifications, concluded that the Certifying Officer (CO) had the discretion, but not the obligation, to request missing documentation. BALCA failed to address arguments made by the Council and AILA in their amicus brief: that due process and fundamental fairness, as well as the PERM regulatory structure, require the CO to request supplemental documentation when the employer’s compliance with documentation requirements is evident from the record.
November 7, 2013
The Council and AILA filed an amicus brief in an en banc case pending before BALCA, an administrative body at the Department of Labor that reviews denials of PERM labor certifications. The case turned on the proper interpretation of a regulation which requires employers to notify certain laid-off U.S. employees about new job opportunities before the employers are permitted to hire foreign workers. The brief focused on the agency’s failure to provide fair warning before applying a new, more restrictive interpretation of the notification requirement.
On behalf of AILA, the American Immigration Council, in cooperation with counsel at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, filed a FOIA lawsuit against DHS and USCIS in July 2010 seeking the public release of records concerning agency policies and procedures related to fraud investigations in the H-1B program.
On July 17, 2007, the American Immigration Council was poised to file a lawsuit alleging that the federal government’s refusal to accept tens of thousands of applications for green cards (and discouragement of thousands of other workers from even applying) violated federal statutes, regulations and policies, as well as the U.S. Constitution. Many of these applicants had waited in line for years and were following the government’s rules to obtain a green card. The suit would have argued that the government must comply with its own regulations and policies and accept these adjustment of status (“green card”) applications.

On behalf of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Council, in cooperation with counsel at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, filed a FOIA lawsuit in July...

In May 2012, the American Immigration Council filed a FOIA request seeking records issued by USCIS and/or DHS, or used by USCIS and/or DHS, from January 2008 to the...

November 1, 2019

At a time when skills related to the burgeoning field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are in very short supply, the U.S. government is making it harder to recruit highly trained professionals from...

October 1, 2019

Newly released documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reveal that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rolled out a major policy change impacting petitions for...

September 17, 2019

Tech startups are engines of innovation, economic growth, and job creation. Yet U.S. visa policies may be preventing startups from hiring the highly skilled foreign professionals they need to...

August 16, 2019

Legal immigration channels to the United States are continuing to suffer under the Trump administration. These restrictions are having an effect on employment-based immigration—particularly...

July 30, 2019

From the highest levels of corporate America to virtually every level of the labor force, immigration creates new jobs in the U.S. economy. The businesses founded by immigrant entrepreneurs...

April 19, 2019

In a welcome immigration-related development, the Trump administration has proposed increasing the annual allotment of H-2B visas for temporary nonagricultural workers. As employers have long...

April 11, 2019

American businesses rely on foreign-born workers in many industries and the country’s immigration system has channels specifically dedicated to employment-based immigration. The Trump...

April 8, 2019

As another H-1B season comes to an end, one thing is clear: the demand for educated foreign workers is as high as ever. The annual H-1B cap was reached within a mere 5 business days. U.S....

April 4, 2019

The scene outside a technology repair company in Allen, Texas on Wednesday was bleak. In the aftermath of an immigration raid, family members gathered to make phone calls, connect with attorneys,...

March 29, 2019

For the first time in two decades, the U.S. workforce has more jobs than people willing or able to fill them. Labor shortages are impacting almost every field in the country. But employers are now...

April 7, 2020
These comments were submitted on the regulatory changes in the Department of Labor’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Direct Final Rule, published in the Federal Register on March 6, 2020 by the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
April 6, 2020

Immigrants living in the United States are eligible for unemployment benefits. But as the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus spread across the country, many are reportedly afraid to...

April 6, 2020
This fact sheet defines the various components of the permanent, employment-based immigration system—and then describes how those components relate to each other in the application processes for each...
April 2, 2020
This fact sheet provides an overview of the H-1B visa category and petition process, addresses the myths perpetuated about the H-1B visa category, and highlights the key contributions H-1B workers...
March 26, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) completed its first registration period on March 20 for H-1B petitions. The H-1B visa category allows highly educated foreign workers to...

March 24, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, the U.S. health care system will likely be pushed to its limits. During this time, it is important to remember the role that immigrant health care workers play...

March 4, 2020

The Trump administration has worked to close the door on all types of immigrants—including people trying to come to the United States on visas. Consequently, the United States is experiencing a...

February 26, 2020

For the first time, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is requiring U.S. employers to register in order to have a chance to file an H-1B petition that is subject to the annual...

February 6, 2020
The American Immigration Council calls on USCIS to withdraw the Notice immediately as it contains significant changes that contravene long-established policy, harms an applicant’s access to administrative review, and was not issued under the proper legal framework under the Administrative Procedure Act.
January 16, 2020

The new process for petitioning for highly educated H-1B workers will officially begin on March 1, 2020. For the first time, a U.S. employer who wants to file a petition that is subject to the...

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