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White Paper: National Security Depends on Leveraging Immigration to Strengthen Workforce

November 1, 2023

Press Release


CONTACT: Anna Nix Kumar

WASHINGTON – The Council on National Security and Immigration (CNSI) today released a white paper on the need to leverage our immigration system to reinforce our workforce, offset current negative labor and demographic trends, and protect our national security interests.

The paper, authored by CNSI leaders Theresa Cardinal Brown and Margaret Stock details how ongoing labor shortages and adverse demographic trends put America in a susceptible position against international competitors. While the U.S. government already has taken some important steps to increase competitiveness, the paper emphasizes the need to leverage our immigration system to tackle these challenges and improve our national security posture.

The United States can accomplish these important goals through certain commonsense policy changes, including expanding the number of H-1B visas, offering additional opportunities for foreign students to remain and work in the country, expanding the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Schedule A” job classifications, increasing the availability of National Interest Waivers, reinstating the MAVNI Program, and finally allowing Dreamers to earn citizenship.

"Our nation's workforce needs to adapt to the demands of the 21st century, and one way to achieve this is by expanding the U.S. Department of Labor's Schedule A list,” said Theresa Cardinal Brown. “By broadening this list to encompass fields critical to our national security, we can streamline the green card process and ensure that we will have the necessary skilled workforce to meet the challenges of today.”

“As our military faces the worst recruitment levels in history, we must recognize that immigrants have always played an integral role in our armed forces,” said Margaret Stock. "Immigrants are a key component of true and tested solutions to increase recruitment levels and strengthen our national security. The re-establishment of the MAVNI Program would allow legal immigrants with critical skills to enlist. Through honorable military service, these soldiers would be able to earn citizenship."

Below are excerpts from the paper. To view the paper in its entirety, click here.


The United States is at a turning point as it faces a demographic and labor crisis that stems from declining fertility rates and an aging population. These trends have significant implications for the nation's economic and national security, particularly as we face the growing influence of competitors such as China. Addressing these challenges is crucial to ensure the country's prosperity. …

Many government officials, national security experts, and academics agree that... immigration is essential to maintaining a demographic profile that serves U.S. national interests. …

To address the nation's workforce deficit and help the native-born workforce succeed, we must utilize strategic immigration as a tool to attract and retain talented individuals, especially in fields critical to innovation, technology, and national defense. This means updating our immigration system to attract and retain talent from around the world and allowing immigrants already here to stay and serve in meaningful ways, be it through military service or by working in critical industries and occupations.


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