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USCIS Extension of U.S. Work Permits for Immigrants is Welcomed News for U.S. Economy

Reforms to other backlogs must still be considered

Arlington, VA – This week the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCIS) announced that it will extend work permits to immigrants whose work authorization has expired or is soon to expire.

In recent years, backlogs at USCIS have grown to crisis levels. In 2017, it took several months for the agency to renew a work permit. Now it takes nearly two years. As a result of these delays, some employers have reported losing over 200 workers in key industries such as health care. Meanwhile, these backlogs are exacerbating the current shortage of workers, making it harder for working class households to afford basic necessities as inflation climbs.

Sam Peak, Americans for Prosperity Policy Analyst, and Kevin Hernandez, The LIBRE Initiative Policy Director, released the following statement:

“We applaud USCIS for their new rule that extends work permits. This temporary measure will empower U.S. businesses and professionals to continue their contributions without the threat of agency backlogs forcing them out of work.

While the new rule is a welcome fix, it’s important to acknowledge that thousands of otherwise eligible people, including many spouses of guest workers, cannot yet benefit from it because their documents that allow them to qualify have also expired due to other backlogs within the agency. We urge USCIS to enact solutions that address this neglected segment of the nation’s workforce and to pursue policies that permanently eliminate administrative waste and make the system more efficient for everybody.”