WASHINGTON—Hospitality is Working, an affiliate of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), launched the Workforce & Immigration Initiative to emphasize the need for Congress to support the U.S. workforce and economy through bipartisan solutions. Accompanying the launch, the Workforce & Immigration Initiative released a six-figure digital advertising campaign in Washington, D.C. and key states, as well as a new survey underscoring respondents’ support for reform that prioritizes the U.S. workforce.
Nearly all hotels are experiencing staffing shortages, and hotel employment remains down by more than 350,000 jobs compared to February 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Hotels are looking to fill many of the jobs lost during the pandemic, including more than 105,000 hotel jobs currently open across the nation.
“Workforce shortages are severely impacting America’s economy, notably the leisure and hospitality sector, which is facing historic worker shortfalls. This crisis has contributed to high levels of inflation and restricted economic growth. Americans everywhere are feeling the impacts of these difficulties. To address the extraordinary workforce shortages, Congress and the administration must come together and find bipartisan solutions that include incorporating more immigrants into the American economy,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “The goal of the newly launched Workforce & Immigration Initiative is to highlight the historic opportunity to take action on this critical issue. Americans are demanding our that leaders in Washington put partisan politics aside and prioritize growing our economy and workforce, by developing an efficient and workable immigration system. The time to act is now.”
On behalf of the Workforce & Immigration Initiative, Global Strategy Group and Public Opinion Strategies partnered to conduct a survey of 1,014 voters nationwide from November 14–21, 2022, on immigration and other key issues facing the United States. Findings include:
- Two in three respondents (67 percent) believe that to build a dependable and efficient economy, the United States needs to fix its immigration system so that immigrants willing to contribute to our economy can do so legally, including 69 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of independent voters, and 64 percent of Republicans.
- A range of proposals including legal status/citizenship are popular across party lines. Bipartisan majorities support proposals that would grant expanded citizenship opportunities or permanent legal status to immigrants living in the United States. Two in three voters (67 percent) support increasing the annual number of H-2B visas, including 78 percent of Democrats, 65 percent of independent voters, and 54 percent of Republicans.
- Seven in ten respondents (71 percent) support creating a path to citizenship for immigrants who currently qualify for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), including 86 percent of Democrats, 60 percent of independent voters, and 58 percent of Republicans.
- Voters do not think the government is taking enough action and that the immigration system is “broken” and “in crisis.”
- Three in four voters (76 percent) say Congress has not done enough on immigration.
- Nearly nine in ten voters (87 percent) say bipartisan efforts to achieve immigration reform are more important than sticking to their respective parties’ political agendas.
The Workforce & Immigration Initiative also launched a digital advertising campaign that notes contributions by immigrants “make our country and economy stronger.” The ad highlights the workforce shortage and calls on Congress and the administration to “secure our border, grow our economy, and create opportunities for people to work legally in the United States” and “rebuild the American Dream.”