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SHRM Research Puts Spotlight on Need for Workplace Immigration Reform

Employers Offer Solutions to Modernize System and Spark Economic Growth




​ALEXANDRIA, Va. – SHRM today released the latest installment of its workplace immigration research, showing that employers continue to believe the U.S. immigration system needs to be modernized so that it can spur economic growth and keep the United States globally competitive.

 "As the economy emerges from the pandemic, employers see workplace immigration as a solution to workforce challenges, a driver of economic growth and key to keeping the United States globally competitive," said Emily M. Dickens, SHRM's Chief of Staff and Head of Public Affairs. "Congress has an opportunity to modernize the system and contribute to the long-term success of our economy and our entire workforce."

 Key findings of the survey — which included HR professionals answering on behalf of their employers at 2,505 organizations of all sizes in every region of the country representing 19 different industries — include:

  • Nearly 3 in 4 (73%) of responding employers agreed that increased immigration encourages economic growth and makes America more globally competitive.
  • The majority of employers (54%) agreed that the United States is losing out on top talent because of its immigration system. This is coupled with over 3 in 4 (78%) employers who disagreed that increased immigration would make it harder for Americans to find jobs.
  • While employers had overall positive experiences with their foreign-born workers, that was in contrast to the low levels of positive experience with the system as a whole. 

To make the U.S. workplace immigration system work better, employers offered their five top improvements:

  1. Enable electronic filing throughout the system.
  2. Introduce automatic renewals on a continuous basis.
  3. Provide more guidance from applicable government agencies.
  4. Create a "Known Employer" program that streamlines the process for employers that submit multiple applications.
  5. Increase the number of immigrant and non-immigrant visas available.

The release of this research is part of SHRM's goal to encourage Congress and the Biden Administration to take actions that modernize the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA). The entire culture of work has shifted drastically since the law's last major amendment more than 30 years ago, so modernizing it is prudent policy. SHRM will engage with a wide range of stakeholders — from its members to influential voices in the business community — to make the case for change.

About SHRM

SHRM creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today's evolving workplaces. With nearly 325,000 members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 235 million workers and families globally. Learn more at SHRM.org.

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