Workplace Immigration



Faced with low unemployment and severe skills gaps, today's HR professionals seek talent from around the world. Over 85 percent of SHRM members report that it is very important to recruit talent to meet business needs, regardless of the talent's national origin. Employers must access all pools of untapped workers, but a lack of visas to meet demand and a lack of tools to hire a legal workforce complicate employers' ability to navigate an already complex system.



Talent, like business, is global. As America competes in an increasingly dynamic world, we need policies that ensure employers and the U.S. workforce are competitive and innovative. Our workplace immigration system must support efforts to fill skills gaps and access top talent while providing modern tools that eliminate redundancies and guard against identity theft. However, with around 500,000 employees in the green card backlog, plus restrictive laws on accessing talent in place, such as an H-1B lottery and arbitrary visa caps, the workplace immigration system needs modernization. Additionally, the outdated employment verification system lacks sufficient security features to identify forgery and alteration to prevent fraud. A patchwork of federal and state employment verification requirements exacerbates and complicates the system.

SHRM Position

  • SHRM believes that a modern workplace immigration system is one that allows employers to access top global talent and that protects, educates and trains U.S. workers.

  • SHRM believes that employers are best positioned to determine their skills and workforce needs.

  • SHRM supports policies that ensure employers have access to visas to recruit, hire, transfer and retain top talent, especially those educated and trained in the United States.

  • SHRM supports policies that enforce existing immigration laws against bad actors, not employers acting in good faith.

  • SHRM believes that employers need one reliable, entirely electronic employment verification system that accurately authenticates new-hire identity, ensures a safe harbor for good-faith users and requires verification only for new hires.

  • SHRM believes that public-policy proposals should create efficiencies for immigration-compliant employers and the government with a Trusted Employer Program and an electronic integration of the Form I-9 and E-Verify.

Upcoming EventsSee All Events

April 14
Webinar: Identifying Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Priorities in Your Organization
April 19 - 21
WorkVision 2020
June 30
CHRO Summit