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Green Card Backlog Costs Economy Trillions in Gains, Report Says

November 09, 2023 (1 min read)

Andrew Kreighbaum, Bloomberg Law, Nov. 8, 2023

"The US is missing out on trillions in economic gains thanks to worsening green card backlogs, according to projections from the Bipartisan Policy Center.  Roughly 7.6 million people are stuck in queues for lawful permanent residency—the majority of them new potential immigrants to the US who are stuck outside the country. Reducing green card barriers for those new entrants and for workers already in the US on temporary visas would add $3.9 trillion in gains to gross domestic product over 10 years, the BPC estimates in a report released Wednesday.  “We’re leaving trillions in GDP gains on the table by not dealing with this problem,” said Jack Malde, the center’s senior policy analyst for immigration and workforce policy.  Most of that economic growth would be driven by the addition of new immigrants to a labor force struggling with ongoing worker shortages. Lifting job restrictions on green card seekers already employed in the US would also boost economic productivity, the report finds."