BRT Letter to Secretary Mayorkas on Unused Green Cards

View a PDF version of the letter here.

September 21, 2021

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas

Secretary of Homeland Security

Washington, DC 20528

Dear Secretary Mayorkas:

Thank you for taking the time to meet with us to discuss how CEOs can provide assistance to Afghans resettling in the United States. BRT staff are working with your team to identify the areas where we can have the most significant impact. We also have a call scheduled with our member company staff early next week to convert the interest to action.

I also want to follow up on our discussion about the importance of the Administration taking immediate action to prevent employment-based green cards from going unused this fiscal year.

The backlogs have created uncertainty for major employers and caused anxiety for our employees and their families who have, in some cases, waited decades to receive permanent residence status.

The system is already plagued by backlogs that have left foreign-born professionals waiting in limbo and companies unable to fill critical talent gaps. We now understand that pandemic-related processing delays, plus the addition of 120,000 green cards this year, have created a situation where the full 260,000 available green cards will likely not be used before the September 30, 2021, deadline.

We believe the time to act is now. The government should eliminate all unnecessary document and evidentiary requests and all communications should be conducted via email or phone to avoid delays. We also encourage the agency to explore every legal avenue to preserve or recapture visa numbers that expire.

With the 2021 fiscal year fast-coming to a close, we respectfully ask you to take action to address the backlogs and ensure these much-needed employment-based green cards do not go to waste.


Tim Cook

CEO, Apple

Chair, Immigration Committee, Business Roundtable