Correction: Number of Work Permits Was Actually 7.4 Million

By Jessica M. Vaughan on February 9, 2015

According to government statistics obtained from USCIS through a FOIA request, the total number of work permits issued by USCIS from 2009 to 2014 is 7.4 million. Due to a spreadsheet error, my original report on the encrypted data received from USCIS incorrectly stated that the total number of work permits issued in these years was 5.5 million. We regret the error.

The updated report includes new issuances (4.7 million) and renewals of expired work permits (2.7 million), and a breakdown of the number of work permits issued to aliens with temporary and permanent status, illegal aliens, and aliens whose status is unknown.

There has been strong interest from lawmakers and the public in this revelation of a huge parallel system of work authorization that is in addition to the number of new legal immigrants and new temporary guest workers admitted in these years. The discovery that the number issued was actually higher than originally reported serves to reinforce the concerns raised by the report on the impact on U.S. labor markets and the integrity of our immigration laws.