AIA Expresses Concerns About Immigration Policy

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March 22, 2017

The American Institute of Architects (AIA), in a recent press release, took a stand for “fair and impartial immigration policies” and noted “targeted immigration restrictions…can thwart recruiting efforts…[and] inhibit business activity.”

The following statistics further support AIA’s concern about the impact any newly imposed immigration or travel restrictions will have on the broader design and construction industry:

  • Immigrant labor accounts for 23% of the total construction workforce in the U.S. (Source: U.S. Department of
    Commerce, American Community Survey)
  • In 2015, billings by U.S. architectural firms for international projects totaled $1.6 billion. Projects in Middle East
    countries accounted for 18% of those billings. (Source: AIA Firm Survey Report, 2015)
  • Half of U.S. large architectural firms have offices in the Middle East/North Africa, which is the largest reported
    share of international offices. (Source: AIA Firm Survey, 2015)
  • In the 2014-2015 school year, 4,283 architecture students
    at accredited programs were nonresident aliens. This
    represents 18 percent of the total—up from 6 percent in
    2009. (Source: NAAB annual report)
  • In 2015, 889 of the 6,348 total degrees (14 percent) were
    awarded to nonresident aliens. (Source: NAAB annual
    report)
  • The AIA has 1,538 members licensed outside the United
    States.


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