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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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.

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...

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...

October 8, 2020

The Trump administration issued two rules October 8 that, if not overturned, will further restrict legal immigration. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued the first rule, which only...

October 2, 2020

On October 1, a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to stop enforcing parts of a presidential proclamation that banned many foreign workers from entering the United States. The court...

October 1, 2020

The Trump administration is successfully using the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to alter the U.S. system of legal immigration. New government data makes clear that these changes will...

August 5, 2020

The dangers to America’s farmworkers—primarily immigrant men from Mexico with temporary H-2A visas—have long persisted under a system that is ripe for abuse. But those risks have only grown since...

June 23, 2020

The Trump administration has banned foreign nationals on certain employment-based nonimmigrant visas from entering the United States. The new ban begins June 24, at 12:01 am ET. The administration...

June 8, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has radically altered the U.S. workforce. Many people have lost their jobs, while others have had to continue to go to work despite the serious health risks. Some sectors...

June 1, 2020

President Trump issued a proclamation to prevent certain Chinese nationals from entering the United States using academic student (F) or exchange visitor researcher (J) visas. The proclamation...

May 29, 2020

May 31 closes out Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time dedicated to recognizing the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. The...

May 20, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has affected day-to-day life for everyone, including foreign nationals who planned to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program. These...

May 15, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of essential workers in keeping America up and running. First-responders, medical staff, meat packers, and domestic, hospitality, and...

April 13, 2011

Washington D.C. - A recent ruling from a federal judge in

February 4, 2022

The House of Representatives passed an economic competitiveness bill on February 4 that includes several immigration provisions. The bill is called the ‘‘America Creating Opportunities for...

February 4, 2022
The U.S. House of Representatives passed an economic competitiveness bill focused on advancing the United States’ innovation and global competitiveness, which also proposes reforms to U.S. immigration law to help attract and retain immigrant talent.
January 26, 2022

The Biden administration recently announced four actions intended to improve immigration “pathways” for noncitizens in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. However,...

January 25, 2022

The labor shortages currently afflicting many sectors of the U.S. economy are being aggravated by the arrival of fewer and fewer workers from abroad. Although immigration has been slowing since...

January 21, 2022
The Biden administration announced new efforts to modernize parts of our immigration system, and remove barriers to legal immigration. DHS will add 22 new fields of study in the STEM Optional Practical Training program through the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, and will implement a series of additional changes to allow foreign students, scholars, and researchers to come to the United States and make meaningful contributions to America’s scholarly, research and development, and innovation communities.
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December 16, 2021
The American Immigration Council and 13 other organizations urged USCIS to expand premium processing to ensure the agency remains solvent while efficiently and effectively adjudicating all...
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 11, 2021
Five workers in the United States filed a nationwide class action lawsuit today challenging unlawful log-jam and extreme delays at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that have resulted in the government’s failure to process the work authorization renewals for asylum seekers.
The Council and partners filed a nationwide class action lawsuit to ensure timely renewal of work authorizations documents for asylum seekers.
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...

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