What are the 2019 US Immigration Trends?

The 2019 US immigration trends may have a direct impact on whether companies can achieve corporate goals. Corporate success is often the direct result of its employees who have specific skills, talents, and education. Many companies benefit by drawing from a large global talent pool. According to the Migration Policy Institute, immigrants tend to be in the US labor force at higher rates compared to their representation as a percentage of the US population. Specifically, MPI’s data shows the following:

1980 1990 2000 2010 2017
Immigrants as share of US Labor Force 6.7% 9.2% 12.4% 16.5% 17.1%
Immigrants as share of US Total Population 6.2% 7.9% 11.1% 12.9% 13.7%

What are Key Facts about US Immigration Policies?

The Pew Research Center notes that approximately 34 million immigrants legally reside in the US. Current policies impacting the 2019 US immigration trends focus on two priorities:

  • Employment-based migration to the US
  • Reunification of family members separated by migration

Reform Proposal will Impact 2019 US Immigration Trends

In 2013 under the Obama administration, the US Congress considered an act to provide for comprehensive immigration reform. In 2019, the Trump administration presented a proposal to change how immigrants are admitted to the US. The proposal includes points such as:

  • Prioritization for workers with high levels of job skills
  • Eligibility increases for applicants who have:
    1. Job offers
    2. Desirable educational backgrounds
    3. The ability to speak the English language

Proposal to Reduce Immigration of Future Public Charges

The Trump administration has also sought to reduce immigration for those who will use, or are most likely to use, forms of public assistance. US immigration laws have a long history (established by Congress in 1882) of limiting immigration for those who would become a “public charge.” However, the Trump administration has pushed to expand the definition of benefits to include Medicaid, Section 8 Housing Vouchers, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as “SNAP”). The final rule was published in August 2019 and is scheduled to take effect on October 15, 2019. This may negatively impact 2019 US immigration trends.

How are 2019 US Immigration Trends Impacting Companies?

Envoy Global recently published its 2019 US Immigration Trends Report. In this report, Envoy Global notes several important points that companies are pursuing, such as:


Identifying other countries with favorable immigration policies and sending employees to those countries to work and train new employees. Alternatively, sending employees to other countries as part of a global assignment rotation system to increase employee retention and promote employee development. The impact on 2019 US immigration trends may be difficult to discern.


Focusing on simplification of the US immigration system to help expedite the migration process.


Providing immigrants with easy paths to permanent US residence in order to gain competitive advantages in talent recruitment and acquisition. This includes Green Card sponsorship as well as covering some or all of the costs for the program. This may positively impact 2019 US immigration trends.


Streamlining internal corporate systems relating to immigration to promote a better employee experience.

What Should Employers do About the 2019 US Immigration Trends?

Companies should continue to stay informed about US immigration system proposals. These proposals may have a significant impact on an employer’s ability to recruit and hire foreign talent. As a result, knowing what to expect can help companies strategically pivot and respond accordingly to meet corporate objectives.

Companies should also work with a qualified and experienced Relocation Management Company (RMC). RMCs can help companies design a robust talent acquisition program. Also, RMCs can help a company design an industry-leading relocation program that will give them a competitive advantage in the global market for highly skilled employees.


GMS’ team of global relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients understand how to develop industry-leading hiring and relocation programs that draw foreign national talent. Our team can help your company understand how to leverage 2019 US immigration trends to benefit its talent acquisition program.

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Contact our experts online to discuss your company’s interest in learning more about the 2019 US immigration trends, or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

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