The big picture

Immigrants on the front lines in the coronavirus fight

They're America's doctors, cab drivers and farm workers.

Apr 3, 2020 - Health
Trump doesn't need a border wall

The administration's growing armory of immigration rules, policies and agreements have already proven to be all but impenetrable.

Jan 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy
Immigration is shaping the youngest generation of voters

29% of Gen Z are immigrants or the children of immigrants, compared to 23% of millennials at the same age.

Dec 14, 2019 - Politics & Policy
Deep Dive: A widening world without a home

If all the refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people were a country, they'd be the 21st most populous nation in the world.

Dec 15, 2018 - Politics & Policy

All Immigration stories

The plunge in highly skilled work visas

Data: U.S. State Department via Migration Policy Institute: Note: Including E1, E2, H-1B, H-4, L-1, L-2, O-1, O-2, O-3, TN and TD visas; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Coronavirus has slammed the door on highly skilled foreign workers — amping up President Trump's push to limit American-based companies' hiring of foreigners.

Why it matters: The restrictions and bottlenecks may outlast the pandemic, especially if Trump wins reelection. Economists warn that could slow the U.S. recovery and reduce competitiveness.

How some companies take advantage of H-1Bs to replace Americans

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Last month President Trump fired two Tennessee Valley Authority board members after the federally owned energy corporation replaced employees with foreign workers.

Why it matters: It was the latest example of big corporations — including AT&T, Disney and Southern California Edison — using H-1B visas for cheaper labor, and sometimes forcing Americans to first train their foreign replacements.

Big Tech's fight for high-skilled visa holders

Data: National Foundation for American Policy and USCIS; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The technology industry has long advocated for access and expansion of H-1B visas for skilled foreign workers and has been vocal about its disdain for President Trump's moves to curb them.

The big picture: Denial rates for H-1B visas for tech companies have gone up significantly during Trump's first term, according to government data compiled by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP).

College international student enrollments plunge

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Colleges and universities are expecting the lowest foreign enrollment since World War II due to the pandemic’s travel restrictions and the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Foreign students are a vital source of revenue for U.S. universities, which are already suffering other revenue losses because of the pandemic.

Trump admin planning new restriction for foreign students

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Trump administration plans to propose a rule in the coming weeks to make international students request visa extensions after two or four years of study, administration officials tell Axios.

Between the lines: Right now, foreign students can stay indefinitely as long as they meet requirements proving they are students. The proposal would essentially set up mandatory check-ins with the Department of Homeland Security in an attempt to prevent overstays.

1 million waiting for employment-based green cards

Data: Department of Homeland Security; Chart: Axios Visuals

Around 1.2 million people are waiting in line for employment-based green cards — including workers, their spouses and kids, according to an analysis by Migration Policy Institute's Julia Gelatt.

By the numbers: Caps on the number of green cards that can be given to any one country mean 68% of the backlog are people from India and 14% are from China.

A story of winning, then almost losing the immigration lottery

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Last year Fatma became one of the lucky few selected out of millions who apply for the diversity visa lottery — a program intended to bring in immigrants from underrepresented countries.

What's happening: Now, the 29-year-old Albanian with a master's degree, and experience in hospital administration, is one of thousands fighting a pandemic and the Trump administration for her chance to move her family to the U.S.

Aug 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Miami mayor: GOP "needs to stop ceding ground" on issues

Photo: Axios

The Republican Party "needs to stop ceding ground on issues that are important issues to my generation" in order to evolve and attract more young people, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R) said Wednesday during an Axios virtual event, "News Shapers: America's Road Ahead."

What he's saying: "I think the environment is one of them...Sea level rise, which is something we are seeing in our city and the environmental impacts we are seeing in our city, have a huge economic impact. And so you know I think the Republican Party shouldn't abandon an issue like...."

Tony Pham tapped as acting head of ICE

Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters in D.C. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) top legal adviser Tony Pham will be the agency's next top official, after current acting director Matthew Albence retires, according to an email sent to Department of Homeland Security employees Tuesday.

Between the lines: Pham and his family came to the U.S. as Vietnamese refugees in 1975 and became citizens 10 years later, according to his bio on DHS' website.

Ex-DHS official says Trump offered pardons to immigration officials who broke the law

Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff of the Department of Homeland Security, claimed in a political ad released Tuesday that President Trump offered to "pardon U.S. government officials for breaking the law to implement his immigration policies."

Why it matters: Taylor, who quit the Trump administration in 2019 and endorsed Joe Biden last week, is one of a number of Republicans seeking to stop the president's re-election. Trump denied that he offered pardons to immigration officials when the allegations were first reported by the Washington Post and New York Times in August 2019.

More Immigration stories