Director of Immigration Law and Policy Research
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April 19, 2017 | By Daniel Costa | VideoEPI’s Daniel Costa appeared on PBS News Hour to discuss President Trump’s executive order targeting H-1B guest worker visa and how the current visa system is being abused by employers.
April 5, 2017 | By Daniel Costa | Fact SheetThe H-1B program provides temporary, nonimmigrant U.S. work visas for college-educated workers and fashion models from abroad. While no one can deny the importance of attracting skilled, talented workers to the United States, the reality is that the biggest beneficiaries of the H-1B program are outsourcing companies that have hijacked the system—using between one-third to one-half of the visas—to replace thousands of U.S.
Modern-day Braceros: The United States has 450,000 guestworkers in low-wage jobs and doesn’t need more
March 31, 2017 | By Daniel Costa | BlogOn César Chávez Day, lost in all the news about the Trump administration’s criminalization and scapegoating of immigrants and attempts to withhold federal funds from cities with policies that protect immigrants, are the 450,000 low-wage-earning migrant workers employed in the United States through the H-2A, H-2B, and J-1 visa temporary foreign worker programs.
January 13, 2017 | By Daniel Costa | BlogSenator Tom Cotton’s (R-Ark.) recent NY Times op-ed on immigration—“Fix Immigration. It’s What Voters Want.”—gets a few things right, but the ultimate analysis is off the mark.
December 23, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | BlogMaria Grazia Giammarinaro, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, issued a statement regarding her official visit to the United States to assess the country’s state of affairs on human trafficking
September 21, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | TestimonyEPI’s Daniel Costa delivered the following testimony before the Indiana Senate’s Select Committee on Immigration Issues on Wednesday, September 21, 2016, at 1:00 p.m.
August 9, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | BlogWe will probably never get a final answer on this, but the situation raises a more important issue: there is a severe and troubling lack of government regulation, oversight, and enforcement when it comes to U.S. temporary (also known as “nonimmigrant”) visa programs.
July 12, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | BlogOn Monday, Vox.com published an in-depth interview with presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. A wide range of topics were discussed, but of particular interest were Sec. Clinton’s positions on immigration regarding the impact of immigration on the labor market and the major flaws inherent in America’s temporary foreign worker programs.
June 28, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | VideoA panel of immigration and public policy experts discussed the impact that immigration has on employment and wages. The discussion was based on a report from the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Immigration Policy Project.
Supreme Court immigration decision means millions of workers will be deprived of crucial labor protections
June 23, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | BlogThis morning the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in United States v. Texas, the State of Texas’s challenge to the most significant of the executive immigration actions—known as the DAPA and DACA+ initiatives—which were announced by President Obama on November 20, 2014.
The substance and impact of the H-2B guestworker program appropriations riders some members of Congress are trying to renew
June 17, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | BlogThe following is an excerpt from my congressional testimony on the H-2B program, which has been updated and edited for clarity; it explains in detail what you need to know about the H-2B riders.
The H-2B temporary foreign worker program: Examining the effects on Americans’ job opportunities and wages
June 8, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | TestimonyAll labor migration to the United States should be managed in a way that adds value to the labor market—by adding needed skills and education, and to fill labor shortages. The H-2B program fails on all counts. It also fails both American workers and migrant workers.
June 2, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | Fact SheetThrough the H-2B visa program, employers can temporarily bring foreign workers to the United States to perform low-wage work such as landscaping, forestry, housekeeping, and construction. Because the visas are sponsored by employers, H-2B guestworkers cannot switch employers if they are abused, meaning these workers often toil for low wages in poor conditions.
New legislation would bring transparency to America’s immigration system and help fight human trafficking
April 20, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | BlogThe Visa Transparency Anti-Trafficking Act would go a long way to bringing a much-needed dose of transparency to our immigration system and drastically improve the quality of public debates surrounding temporary foreign worker programs.
March 17, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | BlogPresident Obama could open up 100,000 jobs for young Americans today for free by simply eliminating the State Department’s J-1 visa Summer Work Travel (SWT) program.
March 5, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | AudioEPI’s Director of Immigration Law and Policy Research Daniel Costa joined Dissent Magazine’s Belabored Podcast to discuss the H-1B guestworker program.
Durbin and Sessions agree H-1B guestworker program must be fixed to protect migrant and American tech workers
March 4, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | BlogSenator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a Tea Party favorite, and Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a progressive stalwart, rarely agree on immigration policy. But last week, they did. What’s the issue they agree on? The need to reform two temporary work visas, the H-1B and L-1, because corporations use them to keep wages low and indenture foreign guestworkers—and replace U.S. workers in the technology sector with those lower-paid indentured foreign workers.
February 4, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | AudioDaniel Costa, EPI’s Director of Immigration Law and Policy Research, discussed H-2B visas with Radio Bilingue.
January 29, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | BlogA recent story from NPR’s Dan Charles titled “Guest Workers, Legal Yet Not Quite Free, Pick Florida’s Oranges,” provides a crucial glimpse into what it’s like being a guestworker in the United States. As the title suggests, it’s not pretty. The headline is probably using the word “free” as a double entendre: guestworkers are not free in the sense of the free market, nor in the sense of someone who has personal freedom and agency; i.e., is not a slave.
January 28, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | BlogThe Supreme Court is reviewing President Obama's decision to defer the deportation of unauthorized immigrants who are the parents of children who are either U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, have resided in the United States for at least five years, and are not a DHS enforcement priority for deportation and update and expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, which to date has provided deferred action to over 660,000 persons who entered the country as young people without authorization. Combined, over five million persons could be eligible for deferments out of a total unauthorized immigrant population of 11 million.
January 19, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | Briefing PaperStagnant or declining wages and persistently high unemployment in the top H-2B temporary foreign worker occupations belie lobbyists claims that a shortage of semi-skilled and unskilled labor calls for expanding the program.
No evidence of labor shortages but Congress considering giving H-2B employers access to more exploitable and underpaid guestworkers
December 15, 2015 | By Daniel Costa | BlogExpanding and deregulating the H-2B visa program (a temporary foreign worker program that allows U.S. employers to hire low-wage guestworkers from abroad temporarily for seasonal, non-agricultural jobs, mostly in landscaping, forestry, seafood processing, and hospitality) has been a top goal for business groups including the U.S.
December 1, 2015 | By Daniel Costa | AudioEPI’s Daniel Costa discussed immigration visas with Southern California Public Radio and BuzzFeed.
September 10, 2015 | By Daniel Costa | BlogLast week the New York Times reported the latest innovation from employers who use the H-2B visa temporary foreign worker program to hire workers to staff traveling carnivals (think your local county or state fair): an employer-created union that collectively bargains with employers on behalf of workers to keep wages artificially low.
August 11, 2015 | By Daniel Costa | BlogThe reality is that what Sanders supports on immigration is careful and nuanced, and it’s the correct path forward for American immigration policy. In a nutshell, Sanders is strongly in favor of legalization and citizenship for the current unauthorized immigrant population, which will raise wages and lift labor standards for all workers, and he’s against expanding U.S. temporary foreign worker programs, which allow employers to exploit and underpay so-called guestworkers.
June 26, 2015 | By Daniel Costa | BlogOn World Refugee Day, The Hill published a Contributors piece by the libertarian Cato Institute’s immigration policy analyst, Alex Nowrasteh, headlined, “The US should be a home for refugees.” In it, he offers a brief history of refugee policy and flows into the United States over the past century and suggests that the United States “should … allow more to settle here.” That’s a noble sentiment, but the headline is misleading because it leaves out the substance of what Nowrasteh proposes in order to help make this happen.