Every day, organizations worldwide are engaged in a collective two steps forward, one step back march toward improved immigration services and policies. What hard-earned lessons are these nonprofits, and the foundations that support them, learning from their persistent efforts? This collection of evaluations, case studies, and lessons learned exposes and explores the nuances of effective collaboration, the value of coordinated messaging, the bedrock of ongoing advocacy efforts, and the vital importance of long-term and flexible funding.

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The Removal System of the United States: An Overview

August 9, 2022

Noncitizens who are not legally present in the United States, and noncitizens who are legally present but who are accused of violating a requirement of their legal status, may find themselves facing deportation from the country. Many noncitizens are subject to deportation proceedings while behind bars and without having the benefit of legal counsel. Recently arrived undocumented immigrants in particular tend to be quickly deported or expelled from the United States by low-level Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials without a judge ever being involved. However, some noncitizens do get the chance to make their case to avoid removal to an immigration judge. Individuals who find themselves in front of an immigration judge in immigration court face the possibility that the judge will order them deported, or "removed," from the United States. But, in many cases, noncitizens can ask the judge to grant them some form of "relief from removal," which will allow them to stay in the United States.

The Use of Parole Under Immigration Law

July 18, 2022

Under U.S. immigration law, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has discretion to grant "parole" to certain noncitizens to allow them to enter or temporarily remain in the United States for specific reasons. Parole under immigration law is very different than in the criminal justice context. This fact sheet explains the nature of parole, how parole requests are considered, who may qualify, and what parole programs currently exist.

The H-1B Visa Program and Its Impact on the U.S. Economy

July 15, 2022

Foreign workers fill a critical need in the U.S. labor market—particularly in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. Every year, U.S. employers seeking highly skilled foreign professionals compete for the pool of H-1B visa numbers for which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) controls the allocation. With a low statutory limit of visa numbers available, demand for H-1B visa numbers has outstripped the supply in recent years, and the cap has been reached before the year ends. Research shows that H-1B workers complement U.S. workers, fill employment gaps in many STEM occupations, and expand job opportunities for all.  This fact sheet provides an overview of the H-1B visa category and petition process, addresses the myths perpetuated about the H-1B visa category, and highlights the key contributions H-1B workers make to the U.S. economy.

The Economic Contributions of Immigrants in Texas

July 11, 2022

This fact sheet highlights the crucial role of immigrants in the state's workforce across the manufacturing, healthcare, and education fields. As of 2019, Texas had the second-largest immigrant population in the country. The increase in the immigrant population has helped strengthen and grow the already massive Texas labor force, even amidst disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, labor shortage, and supply-chain disruptions to the local, state, and national economies.

The Economic Benefit of Proposition 308: Expanding In-State Tuition to Arizona Dreamers

June 14, 2022

New research from the American Immigration Council highlights the crucial role that new Americans play in Arizona's economy, including in some of the state's fastest-growing and most in-demand fields, like healthcare, education, and the skilled trades. Still, the state is facing critical workforce shortages across the skills and education spectrum. One meaningful way for Arizona to remain competitive and tackle these workforce shortages is by increasing access to higher education for Dreamers. By passing Proposition 308, Arizona would join more than 20 states that recognize the financial hardship that out-of-state tuition imposes on young Dreamers. Granting access to in-state tuition to all Arizona graduates is an important step toward meeting critical workforce needs and would greatly benefit the state's economy. 

New American Fortune 500 in 2022

June 8, 2022

Immigrant entrepreneurs have long been an important part of America's economic success story. Some of the largest and most recognizable American companies were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants. This includes household names such as Apple and Costco, as well as newcomers to the Fortune 500 list like Jackson Financial and Caesar's Entertainment. Even Moderna, the pharmaceutical company and vaccine producer, was founded by a Canadian-born stem cell biologist, Derrick J. Rossi, whose parents themselves emigrated from Malta.Since our first New American Fortune 500 report in 2011, the Council has found that more than two out of every five Fortune 500 companies--the 500 largest corporations by revenue in the country--had at least one immigrant or child-of-immigrant founder. This pattern has continued over the years since. This year, we find that 43.8 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children.

Power of the Purse: Contributions of Hispanic Americans in the Rio Grande Valley

June 3, 2022

New research from the American Immigration Council underscores the crucial role Hispanic Texans play in the Rio Grande Valley's labor force, population growth, and economy. This new fact sheet was prepared in partnership with the Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Texans for Economic Growth.

Power of the Purse: Contributions of Hispanic Americans in the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission Metro Area

June 3, 2022

New research from the American Immigration Council underscores the crucial role Hispanic Texans play in the metro area's labor force, population growth, and economy. This new fact sheet was prepared in partnership with the Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Texans for Economic Growth.

Oversight of Immigration Detention: An Overview

May 16, 2022

At any given time, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detains tens of thousands of people in the nearly two hundred detention centers it has at its disposal across the United States. Individuals in ICE custody, their attorneys, and immigrant advocates frequently allege inhumane conditions, violations of due process, medical neglect, and various types of abuse in these facilities. The responsibility of holding ICE accountable for such violations is spread across various offices within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Congress also has detention oversight responsibilities and procedures, which are beyond the scope of this fact sheet.The first section of this fact sheet briefly describes the organizational structure of the detention oversight offices within DHS and the standards by which detention centers are governed. The second section describes the various offices to which detained individuals, their attorneys, or advocates can file complaints regarding ICE detention. It describes each office's oversight responsibility, its organizational structure, the scope of the complaints it receives, the complaint submission process, the process by which the office responds to complaints submitted, and how the office reports to Congress and the public. The third and fourth sections provide information, respectively, on offices that conduct inspections of ICE detention centers and offices that manage the related detention contracts. Some offices are featured in multiple sections because they have separate suboffices for the investigation of complaints and regular facility inspections. It is important to note that while this fact sheet describes the oversight responsibilities officially assigned to each office, these offices often fail to hold ICE accountable in a meaningful way.

The Economic Benefits of the Empire State Licensing Act: Immigrants in New York State’s Workforce

May 16, 2022

New research from the American Immigration Council highlights the crucial role of immigrants and refugees in New York's workforce, as well as the need to reduce barriers to professional and occupational licenses for all New York residents. New York law currently prohibits many immigrants from obtaining state occupational and professional licenses, certificates, and registrations solely due to their immigration status. The Empire State Licensing Act would remove such barriers, expanding economic opportunities to all residents and in the process, help meet the state's pressing workforce needs.

Examining Gaps in Digital Inclusion as States Develop Their Digital Equity Plans

May 4, 2022

The passage of the Digital Equity Act of 2021, part of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, has added new urgency to state-level efforts to understand digital inclusion and equity gaps among their residents. This year, any state seeking funding through this $2.75 billion federal investment will be required to develop a State Digital Equity Plan, which outlines its approach to addressing these gaps. A central component of each State Digital Equity Plan will be an analysis of the extent to which certain "covered individuals" suffer from gaps in digital inclusion – including access to broadband services, digital devices, and digital literacy skills. This fact sheet provides data to inform policymakers and advocates of the gaps in access to broadband internet among various covered individuals, with the goal to help identify remedies and build a more inclusive, equitable digital future. 

Amid Rising Inflation, Immigrant Workers Help Ease Labor Shortages

May 4, 2022

The U.S. finds itself grappling with the highest levels of inflation since the 1980s, caused largely by an imbalance between the demand and supply of both labor and goods and services. As labor makes up around two-thirds of the total production costs of private businesses, economists now worry that with the U.S. economy reaching full employment, without more workers, wage increases could push prices—and inflation—even higher.The U.S. labor force was already facing an aging crisis before the pandemic. Then COVID-19 discouraged even more people from working. On top of this, there has been record turnover among active workers, with many looking for better pay and working conditions in what is being called the Great Resignation.This leaves no clear way of meeting current labor demands domestically or filling the millions of new jobs that will be created over the next decade. While many jobs will be taken on by young people entering the workforce, demographic trends suggest that the labor market will still need immigrant workers to make up the shortfall.Using employment projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), data on job openings from Burning Glass, and data from the American Community Survey, we explore how immigration can help meet labor demands and steer the economy back to a sustainable growth path.