U.S. Chamber Letter to House of Representatives on Immigration Reform

Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - 5:30pm

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

The time has come for the House of Representatives to pass bipartisan legislation that provides permanent relief for Dreamers and institutes much needed improvements to our nation’s border security. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is encouraged by the ongoing discussions in the House to bring legislation to the floor for a vote.

We understand that members are considering addressing immigration issues beyond the status of Dreamers and border security. In the event Congress considers immigration issues more broadly, we urge you to:

  • Take steps to ensure that the nearly 350,000 other individuals who are scheduled to or are at risk of losing their work authorization because of administration actions, can continue to work and contribute to our economy; and
  • Reject proposals that will significantly reduce future legal migration to the United States.

Approximately 690,000 DACA recipients will see their work authorization revoked if Congress fails to provide relief to Dreamers. In addition, approximately 310,540 current Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients will lose their work authorization as a result of recent administration decisions.[1] Many of these individuals have legally lived and worked in the U.S. for two decades.

The administration is also contemplating changes that would rescind work authorizations for roughly 34,917 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders.[2]Absent Congressional action, more than one million individuals would lose their legal ability to work in the United States. In an economy where the number of job openings now exceeds the number of unemployed individuals, removing over one million individuals from the labor force will only exacerbate the problems that employers currently face in meeting their workforce needs.

Regrettably, some in Congress are proposing to go even further and reduce levels of legal immigration. One proposal being considered in the House of Representatives would drastically reduce overall immigration levels in the future by between 260,000 and 420,000 immigrants a year. These cuts would be devastating to our economy and our local communities.

It is long past time to protect the Dreamers and secure our border. We hope the House acts on the bipartisan solutions that exist to address these issues. If there is a desire to address other issues, the Chamber urges the House to reject significant cuts to legal immigration and to consider including measures that provide certainty to other groups of individuals who are at risk of losing their legal ability to work in the United States.

We look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,

Neil L. Bradley

 

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Immigration Workforce Impact

[1] Data compiled for the following nations that will have their TPS designation permanently cancelled by January 2020, which includes El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan. See Wilson, Jill H., Temporary Protected Status: Overview and Current Issues, (CRS Report RS20844); retrieved from Congressional Research Service website: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RS20844.pdf.

[2] The number reflects the average number of H-4 EAD recipients in the most recent US Citizenship and Immigration Services data found at https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Reports%20and%20Studies/Immigration%20Forms%20Data/BAHA/eads-by-basis-for-eligibility.pdf.