Friday, February 20, 2015

Immigrants & The U.S. Trucking Industry

Photo Eric E. Johnson

Check out this new "research brief" from the George Mason University Institute for Immigration Research -- Who's Behind the Wheel?: Immigrants Filling the Labor Shortage in teh U.S. Trucking Industry by Zahra Sohail Khan.

Khan argues that the "positive economic contributions" of immigrant truck-drivers have been overlooked. Immigrants constitute 15.7 percent of the current truck-driver workforce. And they're a needed addition to an industry that is struggling with a worker shortage. But immigrants face challenges in becoming truckers - including English language proficiency and work authorization. Khan concludes that given the importance of the trucking industry to the U.S. economy, trucking firms should "take action to facilitate" the "increased acceptance" of immigration truck drivers into the industry.

I'll note that Khan and James Witte, the Director of Geroge Mason's Institute for Immigration Research, co-authored an piece for HuffPo on this same topic: Ho, Ho, Ho, Who Delivers Those Holiday Gifts? Witte and Khan wrote there: "America needs as many truck drivers as it can get."

(Many thanks to Liz Keyes for pointing me to this topic - it's right up my alley as one whose research consistently focuses on the intersection of U.S. immigration law and U.S. business interests.)


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