Tribal law and immigration law provide a comprehensive space, with plenty of crossover issues, for legal practitioners to explore how immigration law may benefit Tribes and Indigenous Peoples. These issues arise from the history of the United States undermining Tribal interests through immigration policy as it created international borders and established citizenship criteria. As a result, Indigenous Peoples have been impacted by U.S. immigration policy with regard to global mobility, family separation, issues related to border security, and economic prosperity. With the continued growth of Tribal economies, U.S. immigration policy risks limiting Tribal interests and welfare by not providing explicit employment-based immigration benefits for Tribes. In consideration of this legal history, this article will build upon the National Congress of American Indian’s 2013 resolution for Tribal Inclusion and Consideration in Immigration Reform, calling for a Tribal set-aside for professional H-1B visa petitions. I argue that Tribes and Tribally-owned business fit under the current definition of an employer, for purposes of nonimmigrant visa petitions, despite no explicit inclusion of Tribes within the definition. I advocate for Tribes and Tribally-owned businesses to take advantage of the current H-1B visa program to fill open positions that satisfy the H-1B specialty occupation criteria, which would allow Tribes to continue to support Tribal members economically. This article also provides a brief analysis of Tribally-owned businesses that have the potential to hire foreign workers under the H-1B specialty occupation criteria. Overall, I argue that the United States Government has the opportunity to include Tribal interests in immigration policy by creating a Tribal set-aside of H-1B visas, clarifying the definition of a “U.S. employer” to include Tribes and Tribal corporations, and providing an opportunity to consult Tribes when drafting forthcoming immigration policy.



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