U.S. Immigration Updates – Week of November 20, 2023

 

Government Shutdown Averted for Now: Congress Passes Continuing Resolution

On November 15, Congress passed a stopgap funding bill that was signed by President Biden the following day. The bill averts a government shutdown until early next year. The two-step bill extends appropriations dealing with veterans programs, transportation, housing, agriculture and energy until Jan. 19. Funding for eight other appropriations bills, including the Departments of Homeland Security, Labor, and State would be extended until February 2.

SOURCE: Caitlin Yilek. “Senate votes to pass funding bill and avoid government shutdown.” CBS News, November 15, 2023: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/government-shutdown-2023-senate-vote-today/

 

New Report Details Huge Contribution Immigrants are Making to America

In an extraordinary achievement related to documenting the contribution of immigrants to American life, the American Immigration Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping immigrants coming to the United States, just published an interactive map providing deep analysis and data about immigrants in the country.

The Council’s 2023 Map showcases the contributions of immigrants in the country, all 50 states, and industry sectors across the economy. It also features hundreds of stories and videos from local leaders talking about why immigration matters to them.

Some key findings from the Council’s report include:

  • 1 in 8 U.S. residents is an immigrant.
  • Immigrants support the U.S. economy in many ways, accounting for 22.2 percent of entrepreneurs, 22.8 percent of STEM workers, and 15.2 percent of nurses.
  • In terms of source countries for immigrants to America, the report indicates that Mexico led the way with almost 24 percent of all immigrants, India was 6 percent, China and the Philippines were tied at just under 5 percent, and El Salvador was just over 3 percent of all the immigrants.
  • In 2021 immigrants made up just over 17 percent of the American workforce consisting of almost 29 million workers.
  • They paid almost $525 billion in taxes. As the report pointed out, “In recent decades, more than 40 million immigrants in the U.S. collectively increased U.S. housing wealth by trillions of dollars. Much of this was possible because immigrants moved into neighborhoods once in decline, thus helping to revitalize communities and make neighborhoods more attractive to U.S.-born residents.”

The 2023 Interactive Map can be accessed here: https://data.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/map-the-impact/?emci=77f76940-0883-ee11-8925-00224832e811&emdi=6048c0c0-1583-ee11-8925-00224832e811&ceid=4489962

SOURCE: Andy J. Semotiuk, “New Report Details Huge Contribution Immigrants Are Making to America,” Forbes, November 15, 2023: https://www.forbes.com/sites/andyjsemotiuk/2023/11/15/new-report-details-huge-contribution-immigrants-are-making-to-america/?sh=9c44a0f28240

 

Department of Justice Reaches Immigration-Related Discrimination Settlements

Following on the heels of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) $25 million settlement agreement with Apple Inc., DOJ has settled immigration-related discrimination cases with a New York City health care system and a staffing agency with offices nationwide. Below are highlights of the settlements:

NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation. On November 16, 2023, DOJ announced a settlement agreement with New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (NYCHH), which provides health care services to more than a million New Yorkers. The agreement resolves DOJ’s determination that NYCHH violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) when it rejected a worker’s valid employment authorization document (EAD) based on the worker’s national origin.

The worker’s EAD had been extended automatically under Temporary Protected Status (TPS). DOJ determined that NYCHH rejected the valid document and delayed the onboarding of the worker based on its incorrect assumption that the worker’s country of birth listed on her EAD had to be the same as the country designated for TPS. DOJ pointed out that Federal Register notices that automatically extend a TPS worker’s permission to work explain that the worker does not have to show additional documentation or prove citizenship status, and that the country of birth listed on the worker’s documentation does not have to match the TPS-designated country.

Under the terms of the agreement, NYCHH will pay back pay to the affected worker and a civil penalty to the United States, train its staff on the anti-discrimination provision, review and revise its employment policies and training materials, and be subject to departmental monitoring for three years.

Kforce Inc. On November 15, 2023, DOJ announced a settlement agreement with Kforce Inc. (Kforce), a staffing agency with 36 offices across the United States. The agreement resolves DOJ’s determination that Kforce discriminated against non-U.S. citizens with permission to work in the United States and excluded them from job opportunities based on their citizenship status.

DOJ’s investigation determined that from at least March 1, 2019, to February 28, 2022, Kforce distributed job advertisements that contained unlawful hiring restrictions based on citizenship status or otherwise screened out candidates based on their citizenship status.

Under the terms of the settlement, Kforce will pay $690,000 in civil penalties to the United States and set aside $230,000 to compensate affected workers. The agreement also requires Kforce to train its personnel on INA’s requirements, revise its employment policies, and be subject to departmental monitoring and reporting requirements.

SOURCES: DOJ release re NYC Health Care System settlement (Nov. 16, 2023). DOJ release re Kforce Inc. (Nov. 15, 2023).

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