(NewsNation) — A number of food and beverage, hospitality and other companies are looking to reimburse or pay immigration-related fees for their workers.
Noodles & Company is paying $500 every two years to go toward green card renewals for employees who’ve worked there for over a year. Amazon is doing something similar — reimbursing employees for work permit renewals. Tyson Foods has a $1 million program in place to help workers become U.S. citizens. As part of Tyson’s program, it reimbuses employees for citizen application fees, which can be as much as $725, according to the company.
“We’re working hard to help team members who want and need assistance with their lawful immigration status or the complex and expensive process of becoming a citizen. We want to be the most sought-after place to work, and this is one way we hope to do that,” said John R. Tyson, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer at Tyson Foods.
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Over 17% of the U.S labor force is foreign-born — about 670,000 more people since last year. Roughly two-third of immigrants participate in the labor force.
This comes as many businesses report facing a labor shortage.
Immigration tapering off during former President Donald Trump’s tenure, and then grinding to a near-complete halt for 18 months during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been cited as part of the reason for the shortage.
But economists say paying for these immigration fees is just a Band-Aid solution. While experts NewsNation spoke to say a recession will surely tighten the job market, they added that these jobs will likely be filled by technology.