Manufacturers are frustrated by green card backlogs and processing delays for employment-based immigrant visas at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which threaten to worsen labor shortages. The NAM is pressing the Department of Homeland Security to take action.
NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons recently laid out the challenge and the need for action for Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.
The shortage: America’s current labor shortage makes green card inefficiency even more painful, forcing manufacturers across the country to adjust their businesses to account for a smaller workforce.
- “Nearly 45% of manufacturers in a recent Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey fielded by the National Association of Manufacturers reported that they had to forego business opportunities because they did not have enough employees,” said Timmons.
Why green cards matter: “Foreign-born individuals play a key role in addressing our labor needs,” wrote Timmons. “Green cards permanently allow these individuals to live and work in the United States, but the backlog only adds to ongoing immigration challenges and complications. The number of backlogged green cards is approximately 10 times the total number of employment-based green cards available each year.”
A pressing need: “With the workforce crisis contributing to inflationary pressures and economic uncertainty, we truly cannot afford to let more green cards go to waste and leave talented individuals who contribute to our economy on the sidelines,” said Timmons. “As DHS addresses the issues, we stand ready to work with you to strengthen the manufacturing workforce and bolster our economy.”
Further reading: Check out the NAM’s blueprint on immigration policy, “A Way Forward,” for more of its policy proposals.