Economics of Immigration

The immigration laws and regulations provide some avenues to apply for lawful status from within the U.S. or to seek relief from deportation.  The eligibility requirements for these benefits and relief can be stringent, and the immigration agencies often adopt overly restrictive interpretations of the requirements.  Learn about advocacy and litigation that has been and can be undertaken to ensure that noncitizens have a fair chance to apply for the benefits and relief for which they are eligible.  

Recent Features

All Economics of Immigration Content

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...
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.
July 1, 2020
The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax-processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to ensure that people—including undocumented immigrants—pay taxes.
April 30, 2019
This report uncovers the degree to which contact with immigrants and personal values are associated with views about unauthorized immigrants.
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.
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.
September 13, 2017
This fact sheet describes the legal avenues in the United States available to promising entrepreneurs, as well as some of the barriers they face securing immigration status through these paths.
June 14, 2017
Foreign-born workers make up a growing share of the country’s STEM workforce and are critical to the country’s innovation, and STEM workers are responsible for many of the cutting-edge ideas and...
March 8, 2017
There are nearly 12 million immigrant (foreign-born) women workers in the United States today, comprising just over 7 percent of the total labor force.
November 18, 2016
From construction workers to gardeners, many low-wage immigrant workers are in fact quite skilled.
February 26, 2021
In the amicus brief, the Council and partners reject Calhoun County's position to withhold records that otherwise would be released under the Michigan state FOIA.
October 13, 2020
The American Immigration Council, the Immigration Defense Clinic at Colorado Law, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, submitted a comment in opposition to the Department of Homeland Security proposed rule on the "Collection and Use of Biometrics by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services."
September 15, 2020
This new rule will increase the total number of people who are required to submit biometric data from 3.9 million currently to 6.07 million—an increase of more than 60%.
July 29, 2020

The American Immigration Council submitted a written statement to the House Committee on Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship for a July 29, 2020 hearing on "Oversight of U....

March 15, 2016
The statement shares our analysis and research on how immigrants play a vital role in our nation and economy.
February 25, 2021

President Biden has ended a 10-month ban on immigrant visas—the COVID-19 immigrant visa ban. The Trump administration issued the ban in April 2020 in the name of “protecting” American jobs during...

February 25, 2021

Over the past year, sweeping orders have banned many non-immigrant visa holders from entering the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic gave many former Trump administration officials the...

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...

May 5, 2020
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is currently proposing significant changes to the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), and related forms I-864A and I-864EZ.
April 29, 2020

In recent years, states have increasingly embraced their role in immigration by exploring and enacting policies and positions to address the needs of their communities. States are doing what they...

April 9, 2020

Immigrants are participating in the U.S. political process in record numbers, which is a clear sign of successful integration into American society. In fact, nearly one out of every 10 eligible...

February 21, 2020

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been targeting U.S. citizens’ foreign spouses when they apply for legal immigration status. Earlier this month, a federal judge in Maryland put a...

January 13, 2020

People who come to the United States in search of protection must be allowed to work during the often-lengthy asylum application process. They need to be able to support themselves and their...

November 7, 2019

The Trump administration is proposing a new rule that would delay work authorization for people seeking asylum in the United States. The move is drawing opposition from advocates across the...

September 5, 2019

The U.S. economy is changing—and immigration can play a major role in how it looks in the future. But how immigration shapes the future of the U.S. economy and its workforce is dependent on a...

July 21, 2020
President Trump issued an executive order to prevent undocumented immigrants from being counted as part of the 2020 Census. This policy would unlawfully exclude 10.7 million undocumented immigrants, despite the clear requirement of the 14th Amendment to count “the whole number of persons in each state.”
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.
May 27, 2020
The American Immigration Council's latest report examines major changes to the U.S. immigration system in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the unique challenges the pandemic has created for noncitizens and government agencies.
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 21, 2020
President Donald Trump announced his intention to temporarily suspend immigration to the United States in response to the coronavirus pandemic. A ban on all immigration would be an extraordinary move that flies in the face of our long history as a nation of immigrants.
August 12, 2019
The Department of Homeland Security announced a new regulation that redefines who can be considered a “public charge” under immigration law. The new regulation will likely have a chilling effect on America’s family-based immigration system, drastically limiting who will be permitted into the United States.
April 30, 2019
A new report by the American Immigration Council finds that Americans’ attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants are, among other factors, deeply related to their personal values and to the type of contact they have with immigrants in their daily lives.
September 23, 2018
The Trump administration is proposing sweeping new regulations that could lead to the largest decline in legal immigration in generations. The new regulations propose to redefine the meaning of the legal term “public charge."
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.
October 8, 2017
The White House released its long anticipated, "Immigration Principles and Policies," which lay out many of the already-stated aspirations of the Trump administration on immigration. The laundry list represents a wholesale attack on immigration and immigrants. It includes not only limits on immigration generally, but enables mass deportations and envisions bypassing necessary procedures that protect children and asylum seekers.
July 21, 2021
The Council led a letter urging the Biden administration to ensure that all immigrant visas are processed up to the numerical limits by September 30, 2021 to avoid the loss of visas and further...
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...
February 26, 2021
In the amicus brief, the Council and partners reject Calhoun County's position to withhold records that otherwise would be released under the Michigan state FOIA.
February 25, 2021

President Biden has ended a 10-month ban on immigrant visas—the COVID-19 immigrant visa ban. The Trump administration issued the ban in April 2020 in the name of “protecting” American jobs during...

February 25, 2021

Over the past year, sweeping orders have banned many non-immigrant visa holders from entering the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic gave many former Trump administration officials the...

October 13, 2020
The American Immigration Council, the Immigration Defense Clinic at Colorado Law, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, submitted a comment in opposition to the Department of Homeland Security proposed rule on the "Collection and Use of Biometrics by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services."
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...

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.
September 15, 2020
This new rule will increase the total number of people who are required to submit biometric data from 3.9 million currently to 6.07 million—an increase of more than 60%.
July 29, 2020

The American Immigration Council submitted a written statement to the House Committee on Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship for a July 29, 2020 hearing on "Oversight of U....

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