Immigration | Business Roundtable

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Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies working to promote sound public policy and a thriving U.S. economy.

Only 8 percent of immigrants who are granted visas to the United States are admitted based on their professional skills, compared to 25 percent in Canada and 40 percent in Australia.

Nearly 233,000 applications for the H-1B skilled-worker visa — approximately 2.7 times the statutory limit (85,000 per year) — were received by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services within the first five business days of the 2015 filing period. 

It is estimated that approximately 700,000 American jobs will have been created by 2020 by high-skilled foreign workers who were awarded H-1B visas between 2010 and 2013.

More than 40 percent of U.S.-based Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children.

The number of unauthorized immigrants living in the United States declined from an all-time high of 12.2 million individuals in 2007 to an estimated 11.3 million individuals in 2014.

Unauthorized immigrants accounted for an estimated 26.0 percent of all immigrants, 5.1 percent of the U.S. workforce and 3.5 percent of the U.S. population in 2012.

The labor force participation rate for unauthorized immigrants was 72.3 percent in 2012 — significantly higher than the 63.7 percent rate for the U.S. population as a whole.

Assets securing the United States’ 1,933-mile southwestern border have increased from 8,619 Border Patrol agents, 56 aircraft, 140 mobile and remote video surveillance systems, 77 miles of fencing, and no underground sensors in 2000 to 18,127 Border Patrol agents, 107 aircraft, 451 mobile and remote video surveillance systems, 700 miles of fencing, and 11,863 underground sensors in 2014. 

The number of individuals apprehended crossing the United States’ southwestern border illegally — a proxy measure for the number of illegal entries — declined by 71 percent between 2000 and 2014, from 1.6 million (an all-time high) to slightly more than 479,000 individuals. 

69,933 refugees were resettled in the United States in FY 2015, 12 percent below the long-run historical average (1975–2014). 

35 percent of refugees taken in by the United States were from South Asia and the Middle East in FY 2015. Approximately one-third were from Africa, and roughly one-quarter were from East Asia.