E.g., 03/06/2021
E.g., 03/06/2021

Employment-Based Immigration

Employment-Based Immigration

Immigration can be a powerful tool for supporting a country’s economic growth and prosperity, but its success in accomplishing that objective depends on well-designed and carefully implemented immigration policies that strategically facilitate immigration’s economic contribution. Major immigrant-receiving countries increasingly are examining how to select immigrants across a range of skill levels, retain those with the greatest potential to succeed, engage employers constructively in the immigration process, and facilitate immigrant integration, as the research here explores.

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Policy Briefs
July 2016
By  Muzaffar Chishti and Stephen Yale-Loehr
Commentaries
June 2016
By  Will Somerville

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June 2011
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Madeleine Sumption
Reports
October 2010
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Madeleine Sumption and Aaron Terrazas
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September 2010
By  Randy Capps and Michael Fix
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May 2010
By  Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Annette Heuser
Reports
January 2010
By  Madeleine Sumption and Will Somerville
Reports
December 2009
By  Gordon H. Hanson

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Mexico has lost its long-held status as the top source country of new immigrants to the United States, dropping to third place behind China and India. This historic shift is remarkable for the rapid decline in Mexican inflows combined with a steady rise in Asian immigration, largely through high-skilled visa programs. This Policy Beat explores the reasons behind these trends and their potential impact on U.S. demographics.

Indian immigrants represent the second-largest origin group in the United States, accounting for 4.7 percent of the total foreign-born population. Generally high-skilled and highly educated, more than half of Indian immigrants have arrived since 2000 and largely attain green cards through employment-based pathways. Indians account for 70 percent of H-1B petitions and are the second-largest group of international students in the United States.

The H-2B visa allows U.S. employers to bring in foreign workers to temporarily fill low-skill nonagricultural jobs across a wide range of states and industries. A series of recent legal challenges has exposed the presence of fraud and abuse, while stripping the program of its regulations and raising uncertainty about its future. This Policy Beat examines the implications in the debate surrounding temporary worker programs.

Migration has begun to follow the flow of capital after years of Chinese investment in major infrastructure projects in Zambia. This feature article, based on original research including the coding of 25,000 Zambian entry permits, examines the emerging migration pattern from China to Zambia, as Chinese migration to the country has increased 60 percent since 2009.

Mass cases of exploitation and abuse of migrant workers have drawn international scrutiny and criticism of the kafala system in Gulf Cooperation Council countries and private recruitment practices in Southeast Asia. With Qatar under scrutiny amid a frenzied construction boom in advance of the 2022 World Cup, international organizations and human-rights groups in 2014 stepped up their campaign for worker protection reforms.

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Recent Activity

Articles

Climate-related displacement is not hypothetical: An average of 21.5 million people per year have been displaced since 2008 by natural disasters, and thousands more have fled slow-onset environmental hazards. While migration can serve as a safety valve to adapt to changing conditions, few orderly, legal channels exist for climate migrants (also known as environmental migrants), as this article explores.

Articles

Having emerged from a long era of military rule, Myanmar's leaders and many citizens are looking outward. In particular, with Burmese labor migration abroad on the rise, policymakers are examining ways in which to harness remittances as a vehicle for economic development, particularly in impoverished rural areas. This article explores Burmese labor migration flows, financial reforms, and challenges on migration and development.

Articles

With many countries in East Asia facing unfavorable demographic shifts in the form of aging populations, low fertility, and shrinking workforces, governments in 2016 continued to explore immigration as a potential policy solution. However, a tradition of cultural homogeneity and wariness among publics about increased immigration is leading policymakers to test the waters with very small steps.

Articles

In stark contrast to a Europe that is erecting new barriers and reinstituting border controls, other regions around the world are moving toward greater mobility for intraregional travelers and migrants. Regional blocs in South America and Southeast Asia have been working to ease intraregional movements of workers, and the African Union in 2016 launched a new biometric African passport.

Video, Audio
October 20, 2016

A discussion featuring data on immigration trends and the agricultural workforce, and some of the adjustments that farm employers are making, including increased mechanization, improved wages and benefits, and the increased use of the H-2A program. University of California-Davis’s Phil Martin, along with researchers from the the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Labor, present their findings on the foreign agricultural workforce in the United States, which is followed by comments from the President of Farmworker Justice on some of the policy implications.

Articles

Hong Kong is home to more than 340,000 foreign domestic workers, who can be found in one of every seven households. Despite efforts by the governments of Hong Kong and top sending countries, these workers remain uniquely vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. This article examines the conditions foreign domestic workers face, the policies governing their employment, and the challenges in protecting their rights.

Policy Briefs
July 2016

Twenty-five years after enactment of the Immigration Act of 1990, the law remains the framework for the current U.S. legal immigration system. This issue brief examines the legislation, which sought to admit more immigrants based on their skills and education, finding it has only modestly increased the employment-based immigration share. The law also created the diversity visa program and Temporary Protected Status.

Commentaries
June 2016

While the political and economic ramifications of the UK vote to quit the European Union hit with full force within hours, it will take far more time to sort out what Brexit means for migration policy. In the short term, the rights of EU nationals living in Britain are the most pressing, with border-control negotiations and future immigration levels also high on the agenda. Against a backdrop of deep public skepticism, this commentary suggests the next government should underpromise and overdeliver.

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