"The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released new data showing that the green card backlog for employment-based immigrants in April 2020 surpassed 1.2 million applicants—the highest number ever." cato.org/blog/employmen…
The backlog increased from November 2019 to April 2020 at three times the monthly pace that it increased from April 2018 to November 2019. Image
Most of the increase in the EB backlog occurred in the EB-2 and EB-3 employer-sponsored categories for immigrants with a bachelor's or master's degrees. Image
Indians continue to dominate the backlog, accounting for nearly two thirds of backlogged petitions, though the recent increases came mainly from non-Indian and non-Chinese immigrants. Image
I updated my estimates of the time to process the entire backlog to take into account the family-based spillover under 3 scenarios: 1) if everyone stays in forever, 2) accounting for deaths, and 3) accounting for deaths and people leaving the line. Image
Despite the spillover, newly backlogged employer-sponsored Indians face an 8-decade backlog and about 186,000 petitions for Indians will expire due to their deaths even if they could stay eligible for that long. Only about half of the Indian petitions will result in green cards. Image

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More from @David_J_Bier

11 Nov
Out today, I provide an overview of suggested reforms for the major components of the immigration system. I provide detailed citations for how to make the reforms to the statutes. Congress shouldn't wait to take up reform next year cato.org/publications/e…
Here is my list of 52 specific ideas to vastly improve America's immigration system. Of course, much more should and can be done. But these are my priorities.
Congress should start with the premise that the U.S. permanent immigration system is very restrictive compared both with other wealthy countries among which it ranks in the bottom third for foreign born share and compared to its own history.
Read 16 tweets
6 Nov
During the transition, do you think DHS officials are going to say things like: "Here's how we're still separating families, where we are spending the money for imprisoned immigrant food and health care, how we're blocking asylum applicants, how we pick journalists to target...
"Here's how we target Muslims for additional screening, put Yemenis in 'administrative processing' to drop their visa apps, oh, we gave all premium processing fees to this contractor for this failed online system. Oh, and we secretly changed the H-1B standards over here...
"Look, here's the dumpster for initial DACA apps that we dumped in violation of SCOTUS. Let me show you how we arrest "illegals" living in homes in CA w/o any evidence they crossed the border (just call them human smugglers!), here's how we invent evidence of 'gang ties"...
Read 17 tweets
5 Nov
On his main issue, Trump actually lost ground *among his own party*, setting aside the backlash it's caused among Democrats. Nativists' arguments failed spectacularly, far more than I could have expected these past 4 years pewresearch.org/politics/2018/…
Remember when hating refugees was a main campaign platform for Trump in 2016. He's had 4 years to sell it, and it's failed big time! pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019…
They are stealing jobs? They are killing Americans? Pluralities or majorities of Republicans didn't buy it even at the height of this guy's presidency. A total whiff by NumbersUSA-CIS-FAIR & Trump pewresearch.org/politics/2018/…
Read 4 tweets
30 Oct
Absolutely stunning OIG report finding that Nielsen instructed ports to turn away asylum seekers despite capacity to accept. I have repeatedly argued that her statements to Congress were false about this, but now we know she LIED oig.dhs.gov/sites/default/…
My first post on the subject: cato.org/blog/obama-tri…
My latest post using FOIA-ed data to show that they had far more capacity to process: cato.org/blog/officials…
Read 8 tweets
17 Apr
Here is the research and writing that @CatoInstitute has published about COVID-19 and immigration.

1. Immigrants Aid America During COVID-19 Crisis
2. Immigrants Are About 1/3 of California’s “Essential Workers”

3. Research Provides No Basis for Pandemic Travel Bans
"Rather than pinning all its hopes on a Chinese travel restriction, the U.S. government should have spent those early moments preparing a vigorous domestic response to the virus—which it failed to do."
Read 8 tweets
30 Mar
Cato published my paper about the employment-based green card backlog today. For the first time, it's over 1 million petitions for workers, investors, and their families. Many health care workers stuck in these lines cato.org/publications/i…
3/4 of the backlog is from India with the numbers increasing rapidly.
More than 200,000 petitions for Indians in the EB-2 and EB-3 skilled worker categories would expire due to the death of the worker if they could find a way to stay in line for the 89 year-wait that they are facing.
Read 5 tweets

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