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Denying Legal Immigrants Opportunity to Work Hurts America

(Arlington, VA) – According to press reports, thousands of recent college graduates from foreign countries may soon be forced to leave their jobs because their work visa applications are not being processed and approved in a timely fashion by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Until recently, these employees were permitted to work while their application is pending. But under new rules put in place earlier this year by the Administration, they are required to cease working until their application is approved.


Daniel Garza, President of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:

The United States has always benefitted from the contributions of immigrants. Whether they come to our country to work temporarily, or are welcomed permanently – they have helped build our future while building their own. For many foreign students graduating from U.S. universities, their hope is to build better lives by taking what they have learned in an American school, and applying it at a new job in the United States. This has helped enrich our schools, communities and businesses by attracting and keeping some of the smartest talent from around the world. Almost half of America’s Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants – creating jobs for thousands and thousands of Americans. History has shown that our country is strengthened when people come to study at U.S. institutions and stay in the U.S. after completing their studies to fully develop and apply their talents. Their vast capacities and hard work ethic have served as a uniquely American advantage – one that has made our companies and our nation more competitive.

Unfortunately, the policies under this Administration continue to curtail paths to legal immigration in this country. Now, the vetting of work applications for many students are not being approved in a timely manner, causing uncertainty for them, their employers and our future. As their prior permits expire, many will soon be forced to quit – or risk significant penalties. This hurts the American companies that have hired them, and the communities they support. And without access to the best talent from around the world, Americans will suffer – hurting the citizens that are served or benefit from their work. This is yet another wrongheaded policy that undermines legal immigration and harms our country in the long run.

For interviews with a representative from the LIBRE Initiative, please contact Brian Faughnan, 202-805-1581 or Wadi Gaitan, 202-853-4463