Immigrants represent a steadily growing share of the American workforce, a trend that could be interrupted by U.S. efforts to overhaul immigration policy. The number of foreign-born workers in the U.S. rose to nearly 27 million in 2016, up about 700,000 from the previous year and representing 16.9 percent of the nation’s labor force, according to an annual

report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Thursday. That’s the highest proportion in records going back to 1996, when immigrants accounted for just 10.8 percent of the workforce. The share has risen steadily over the last six years following a slight dip during the last recession when foreign-born workers suffered disproportionately as the collapse in the housing market took a toll on construction employment. READ MORE