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Work Permits Expedited for Some Migrants

The Biden administration will expedite work-permit processing for select migrants as well as extend temporary protected status to about 470,000 Venezuelans, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

What’s going on: “The government announced it would begin expediting work-permit processing for migrants who have recently entered the U.S. legally, either via an appointment at the southern border or through a sponsorship program designed for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans.”

  • Processing for work permits for these groups is expected to take an average of 30 days.
  • Additionally, the administration announced that it intends to issue work permits for five years instead of two years.
  • In addition to the work permit changes, the administration extended TPS to Venezuelans who arrived in the U.S. prior to July 31. TPS protects immigrants from deportation and grants them the ability to work legally for 18 months.

Why it’s important: Though the workforce shortage in manufacturing has abated somewhat in recent months, as of July there were 550,000 open positions in the sector—above pre-pandemic levels. Additional work permits could help fill these posts.

In related news: A surge in legal immigration is already helping the U.S. shore up its workforce shortage, and may even be helping the Federal Reserve avoid steeper rate hikes for now, according to POLITICO.

The NAM says: “The NAM’s ‘A Way Forward’ outlines manufacturers’ vision for comprehensive immigration reform,” said NAM Director of Domestic Policy Julia Bogue. “Manufacturers continue to face workforce challenges, and immigrants can help fill open jobs throughout the industry, playing a key role in ensuring America’s competitiveness.”

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