Debates on immigration policy often discuss calibrating immigration levels to meet the labor needs of the nation’s economy. Indeed, it is clear that immigration strongly affects U.S. labor markets – over the past thirty years, foreign-born workers have grown to record numbers.
This report provides a background for policy discussion on high-skilled immigration to the United States by presenting an occupational profile of foreign-born professionals and highlighting their contributions to the U.S. economy.
This report examines the connections between the United States’ temporary and permanent systems of admission to the United States. It describes the goals and structure of each system, discusses the relationship between immigrant and nonimmigrant admission flows, and describes the critical data gaps that impede understanding of the underlying realities of immigration to the United States.
This policy brief examines the United States’ complex employment-based immigration system, which admits foreign workers through five permanent immigration categories and dozens of nonimmigrant visa categories for temporary workers. It evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the current demand-driven system and offers recommendations for improvement based on this analysis.
This policy brief compares existing proposals for comprehensive immigration reform by President Bush and the 109th Congress with regard to changes to lawful permanent resident (LPR) admissions, the terms and conditions of nonimmigrant visas, and policy responses to the existing unauthorized immigrant population.
This report explores the complex issues surrounding temporary worker programs by looking at the ways in which the United States has responded to domestic labor shortages from the 1940s through the present. It examines the intent and structure of both historical and existing temporary worker programs, and raises salient policy questions that result from the analysis.
This report explores the successes and failures of various attempts to create an employment verification system that reliably establishes an employee’s eligibility to work since the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986. Through this analysis, the author evaluates the effectiveness and potential contributions of the current system and seeks to inform proposals for future initiatives.
Thisreport provides an overview of United States border enforcement throughout the 20th century, highlights how it has changed since the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act nearly two decades ago, and further examines its unprecedented expansion in the aftermath of 9/11. The author concludes with a set of policy questions.
This policy brief examines the flaws in the United States’ existing employer sanctions regime and proposes six types of reform that could strengthen the system: improvements to document security, document consolidation, mandatory use of employment databases, increased enforcement staffing, a revised penalty structure, and better worksite access for investigators.
This report examines the sweeping changes in the way identity documents are issued and used under the REAL ID Act, an effort to enhance the security of identity documents in post-9/11 America. It takes a detailed look at how this legislation will affect document issuing agencies, state budgets, and the employment verification system, in addition to immigrants and citizens.