Director of Immigration Law and Policy Research
By Area of Research:
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.
June 16, 2015 | By Daniel Costa | BlogThis piece was originally published in the New York Times “Room for Debate” section on May 12, 2015. The true costs of goods and services is a secondary issue to stagnant and exploitative wages: The cost of certain goods might go up, but more people would be able to afford them with better compensation.
June 16, 2015 | By Daniel Costa | BlogCorporate lobbyists have convinced legislators of both parties that America needs more guest workers in high-tech jobs. Leading the charge in Congress to do their bidding is Utah Sen.
June 12, 2015 | By Daniel Costa | VideoDiscussing the use of skilled foreign workers in the U.S. with Daniel Costa of the Economic Policy Institute.
March 27, 2015 | By Daniel Costa | VideoEPI’s Director of Immigration Law and Policy Research Daniel Costa joined a panel hosted by the Brookings Institution to discuss employment of U.S.
February 20, 2015 | By Daniel Costa | BlogTwenty-six states, led by Texas, have convinced federal district court Judge Andrew Hanen to temporarily enjoin two important executive immigration actions—DAPA and the expansion of DACA—which President Obama announced in November of last year.
January 7, 2015 | By Daniel Costa | BlogAs I and others have written over the past month and half or so, President Obama’s new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability initiative (DAPA) will shield from deportation and provide work authorization to unauthorized immigrants who have a son or daughter who is a U.S.
Statement for the record on executive immigration action: Hearing in the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives: “President Obama’s Executive Overreach On Immigration”
December 2, 2014 | By Daniel Costa | TestimonyStatement for the Record by Daniel Costa, Director Of Immigration Law and Policy Research at the Economic Policy Institute Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Conyers, and members of the House Judiciary Committee, I thank you for the opportunity to submit this statement for the record for the hearing entitled “President Obama’s Executive Overreach on Immigration.” Introduction It is of utmost importance to understand both the limits of the actions the president may take with respect to the implementation and enforcement of immigration laws and the president’s inherent constitutional authority and responsibilities.
President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration Will Improve the Wages and Working Conditions of Unauthorized Immigrants and U.S.-Born Workers Alike
November 20, 2014 | By Daniel Costa | BlogThe internet and Twitter have virtually exploded over President Obama’s scheduled announcement tonight at 8 p.m. EST, regarding the actions he will take to reform the immigration system without Congress, relying on the legal authority he has to execute the laws of the United States.
November 12, 2014 | By Daniel Costa | BlogAt least 650,000 college-educated temporary foreign workers are employed in the United States through the H-1B visa program, mostly in the high-tech industry.
New Website Contratados.org Brings Transparency Where It’s Lacking: The International Labor Recruitment Industry
October 10, 2014 | By Daniel Costa | BlogFor most foreign workers who come to work temporarily in the United States, paying private labor recruitment agencies or individual recruiters (also known as foreign labor contractors or FLCs) in order to find and get a job—as a landscaper, teacher, computer programmer, or almost any other occupation—has become an inescapable part of the process.
What You Need to Know about the President’s Legal Authority to Expand Deferred Action for Unauthorized Immigrants
August 15, 2014 | By Daniel Costa | BlogPresident Obama is reportedly considering “deferring” (temporarily suspending) the deportation of up to five million unauthorized immigrants, which would expand and be modeled after his 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative.
American Caesar? Not Even Close: The president has the statutory authority he needs to expand deferred action
August 7, 2014 | By Daniel Costa | BlogSince a major reform of the immigration system is dead politically for the foreseeable future—and also in light of the debacle last week in Congress, where our legislative branch was unable to pass a law to fund managing the flow of Central American child migrants arriving at the southwest U.S.