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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Publication Date: 
July 8, 2021
Current U.S. immigration law provides several paths for foreign workers to enter the United States for employment purposes on a temporary or permanent basis. This fact sheet provides basic...
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April 29, 2021
This report analyzes the most significant changes to the legal immigration system made by the Biden administration during its first 100 days in office, and makes recommendations to foster a fair and...
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September 30, 2020
This report identifies disruptions throughout the immigration system because of the COVID-19 pandemic and makes recommendations for improvements to the federal government’s response.
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June 18, 2020
The Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) initially brought scholars to the United States to teach or conduct research. Today, there are 14 categories of programs through which EVP participants can teach,...
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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...
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January 9, 2019
This fact sheet estimates the likely numbers of workers with TPS from these three countries, broken down by the states in which they reside and the industries in which they are employed.
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July 18, 2018
This fact sheet provides an overview of how USCIS calculates processing times and the concerns over the accuracy of these estimates.
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June 11, 2018
Some confusion exists regarding the economic aspects of family-based immigration. To help unpack those aspects, this report focuses on one of them—namely, the earnings of family-based immigrants.
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March 26, 2018
Temporary workers—such as those in H-1B status—typically can bring their spouses and children with them to the United States in what is called H-4 status. This fact sheet provides an overview of the...
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January 17, 2018
U.S. immigration policies significantly limit the ability of these doctors to immigrate to and practice in the United States. As policy-makers debate what immigration reforms would best serve the...
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.
December 16, 2019
The American Immigration Council filed this brief in support of a U.S. employer’s challenge to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s denial of a computer programmer H-1B petition.
November 12, 2019

Under current U.S. immigration law, the immigration service must make a decision on work permit applications filed by asylum seekers within 30 days of their application. The Trump administration...

July 16, 2019
The statement highlights the Council’s concerns regarding systemic U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services delays in responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
As U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to scrutinize and reject meritorious H-1B petitions, one emerging pattern is its rejection of petitions for entry level positions. We've sued.
In denying the petition, USCIS disregarded substantial evidence that the employer requires a bachelor's or higher degree in a "specific specialty" because of the complexity and specialized nature of the job duties.
With the data sought through the requests, the Council hopes to better understand USCIS’ adjudication of employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions and how the adjudication process has evolved over multiple years.
Under the Trump administration, we have seen an uptick in requests for additional information about petitions filed by U.S. employers on behalf of foreign-born workers. We also have seen greater numbers of denials of these petitions. According to the employers and their workers, these trends reflect unlawful adjudications across the board. In response to these changes, the Council filed two Freedom in Information Act requests.
This case is representative of the difficulties employers encounter when new occupations emerge to fill business needs which require at least a bachelor’s degree, but no consensus exists as to the degree requirement.
In recent years, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been denying H-1B petitions for jobs that the agency previously approved as being in a specialty occupation. This case is representative.
July 27, 2016
This Practice Tip analyzes the pros and cons of appealing to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) following the denial of an employment-based visa petition.
May 25, 2016
This Practice Tip explains how practitioners can turn a Request for Evidence (RFE) into an opportunity to strengthen the administrative record through a thoughtful and thorough response.
April 1, 2016
This Practice Tip outlines how you can build a strong administrative record to set the stage for challenging the denial of a client's visa petition in federal court.
November 6, 2015

This Practice Advisory provides basic information about mandamus actions and suggests strategies and practice tips for bringing a mandamus action against the Department of Labor (DOL).

June 1, 2008

This Practice Advisory offers a short introduction to habeas corpus, addressing when and how a petitioner may file a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the immigration context.

April 5, 2006
This Practice Advisory discusses the changes that the REAL ID Act made to INA § 242(a)(2)(B) and outlines an analysis for whether §242(a)(2)(B) applies to a particular case. It also discusses federal court jurisdiction over discretionary decisions after the REAL ID Act in the removal and non-removal contexts. The government has asserted this jurisdictional bar in employment-based, family-based, and humaritarian-based immigration cases.
December 1, 2021

A lesser-known group of young people who grew up in the United States with immigration status—typically the children of noncitizens who entered the U.S. on temporary work visas—is increasingly at...

November 5, 2021

Annual limits on immigrant visa numbers, combined with processing delays and wasted numbers, mean even longer waits for people to become U.S. permanent residents. In November, the “cut off” date...

October 27, 2021

A recent class action settlement is expected to result in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approving more market research analyst H-1B petitions. The lawsuit was filed by four U.S...

June 30, 2021

A recent court win that restored lower minimum investment amounts was good news for regional centers and immigrant investors in the EB-5 program. But the bad news is the EB-5 regional center...

May 26, 2021

Businesses and industry organizations are among those pushing back against a rule that would change eligibility for filing an H-1B petition. The new rule would require the H-1B lottery selection...

May 12, 2021

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently withdrew two rules proposed by the Trump administration. On the surface, it seems they have nothing in common: a proposed expansion in collecting...

March 30, 2021

A ban blocking certain employment-based visas implemented and extended by former President Trump is set to expire on March 31. The ban has likely prevented hundreds of thousands of people from...

March 19, 2021

Employers and workers are starting to see a shift from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on unlawful restrictions of the H-1B specialty occupation visa category. Over the past nine...

February 5, 2021

Business immigration has already benefited from the change in administrations. On January 25, President Biden issued an executive order directly replacing a Trump-era executive order that wreaked...

January 14, 2021

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently issued a final rule changing the way U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selects the registrations of U.S. employers that want to...

November 7, 2020
Joseph R. Biden has been elected to serve as the 46th president of the United States. In the months ahead, we look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration to advance a pro-immigration agenda that respects the dignity of all people.
October 22, 2020
The proposal would negatively impact American colleges and universities and foreign students seeking a higher education degree in the United States and have long-term effects for the legal immigration system.
June 22, 2020
The Trump administration announced a more permanent order that suspends many categories of immigration to the United States and an expanded ban that halts many legal employment-based immigration categories for those outside of the United States.
April 22, 2020
President Donald Trump signed an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration to the United States. The order applies to many individuals currently outside the United States who do not yet have immigrant (permanent) visas.
April 16, 2020
The American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the law firms Van Der Hout, LLP, Joseph & Hall P.C., and Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC filed a nationwide class action lawsuit today challenging U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ pattern and practice of arbitrarily denying H-1B nonimmigrant employment-based petitions for market research analysts positions filed by businesses in the United States.
August 2, 2018
A judge ordered last week that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must adjudicate work authorization applications for asylum seekers within the prescribed 30-day deadline.
June 12, 2018
Through analysis of data from the decennial census and administrative data from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, this special report examines the earnings gains over time of all immigrants, as well as the earnings gains experienced by family-based immigrants compared to employment-based immigrants.
September 29, 2017
a motion for a preliminary injunction in federal court in Washington, D.C. to compel the Department of Homeland Security to implement the International Entrepreneur Rule pending final judgment of the suit brought by NVCA and the other plaintiffs.
September 19, 2017
Entrepreneurs, startup companies, and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) filed a lawsuit in federal court today challenging the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) delay of the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER).
July 19, 2017
U.S. District Court Judge James Robert granted a motion to certify a nationwide class in Northwest Immigrant Rights Project v. USCIS, recognizing that USCIS must adjudicate asylum seekers’ employment authorization applications within 30 days if they are submitted in a timely manner.
Last modified: 
June 8, 2022
Publication Date: 
June 8, 2022
Some of the largest and most recognizable American companies were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants.
September 30, 2022

With job openings at nearly twice as high as the pre-pandemic norm, employers across the country are continuing to struggle to fill open positions and meet workforce needs. But they’re finding a...

June 28, 2022

Demand for workers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) continues to grow in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the country will...

June 24, 2022

Surprising data recently revealed that consular officers denied applicants for employer-sponsored immigrant visas at a far higher rate than U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)...

Publication Date: 
June 14, 2022
Recent federal policy changes have opened up new avenues for American businesses of all sizes to connect with talented researchers and other highly-skilled individuals in the STEM fields. The...
June 9, 2022

America’s economic success is built on the world’s best and brightest coming to our shores bringing ingenuity, creativity, and determination. From Wall Street to Main Street, businesses started by...

Publication Date: 
May 16, 2022

New research from the American Immigration Council, Economic Benefits of the Empire State Licensing: Immigrants in New York State’s Workforce, highlights the crucial role of immigrants and...

May 5, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and kept people from going back to work at a time when the demand for goods and labor is high. This has left America contending with a...

May 4, 2022
New data released today by the American Immigration Council examines how immigration can help meet labor demands and steer the U.S. economy back on track. The report, “Amid Rising Inflation, Immigrant Workers Help Ease Labor Shortages,” analyzes which occupations are expected to increase between 2020 and 2030.
April 1, 2022
National nonprofits American Immigration Council and Welcoming America announce a new level of support through Implementation Technical Assistance and seed grant funding for six communities as part of Round IV of the Gateways for Growth Challenge (G4G)

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