August 2023 Immigration Update

In the ever-evolving landscape of immigration, recent developments in the United States have brought significant changes, challenges, and opportunities. From court battles over asylum policies to extensions of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukrainians, here’s a comprehensive look at the latest immigration news.

TPS Extended for Ukrainians

Amidst the legal battles, a ray of hope shone for Ukrainian nationals residing in the U.S. On August 18th, Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukrainians until April 2025. This extension offered relief to those who had been living in uncertainty. It also included a Special Student Relief Notice, potentially benefiting around 166,000 individuals.

Special Student Relief Notice

Federal Registrar Notice

Political Unrest in West Africa Raises Alarms

Beyond U.S. borders, political instability in West Africa is generating humanitarian concerns. The region is witnessing fears of a regional war and a refugee crisis. In late July, a military junta ousted Niger’s elected government, leading to a regional threat from ECOWAS, a group of West African countries, to intervene if constitutional order isn’t restored.

USCIS Reopens its Office in Cuba

For the first time in half a decade, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reestablished its presence in Havana, Cuba. This move is vital as Cuban immigration to the United States has surged in recent years. The new office will conduct interviews, process cases in the Cuban Family Reunification Parole program, handle petitions for refugees and asylum, and provide other immigration services. The reopening of this office holds great importance, especially with the increasing number of Cubans seeking refuge in the United States.


Exploring Immigrant Roots of Top U.S. Companies

Afghan Adjustment Act's Hurdles and Hope

In a display of bipartisan effort, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Lindsey Graham led an initiative to include the Afghan Adjustment Act (AAA) in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Although the AAA didn’t make it into the NDAA, this endeavor garnered significant bipartisan support, showing progress in its cause. The AAA, which aims to offer Afghan allies in the U.S. a path to permanent legal status, could still pass as standalone legislation when Congress reconvenes. Advocates, like Global Cleveland, have been actively urging Ohio’s representatives to support this crucial bill.


Alabama Takes a Step to Address Doctor Shortages

Alabama, like many states, faced a shortage of physicians. To combat this issue, the Physician Workforce Act went into effect on August 1st. This legislation was designed to bolster the state’s healthcare workforce by allowing international medical graduates to apply for their licenses a year earlier. Furthermore, it introduced an apprenticeship program for graduates who weren’t matched with a residency and eliminated the SPEX exam. The President of the Alabama Medical Association expressed optimism that this law would expand the pool of physicians, improve patient access to care, and ultimately lead the state toward a healthier future.


In a thought-provoking report, the American Immigration Council delved into the immigrant origins of America’s Fortune 500 companies. The findings were astonishing: almost 45% of these corporate giants were founded by immigrants or their children. Some well-known names like, Apple, Google, and JPMorgan Chase have immigrant roots. These immigrant-founded Fortune 500 companies employ millions and contribute trillions to the U.S. economy, highlighting the immense impact of immigrants on American business.


Challenges with Immigration App Lead to Lawsuit

Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) introduced the CBP One app, which asylum seekers are required to use. However, this app has faced severe criticism for being unreliable and glitchy. Asylum applicants claim that issues with the app made it impossible to book appointments, resulting in them being turned away by border security personnel. These individuals had to return to border towns in Mexico, which can be perilous. The app’s stringent requirements, limited language options, and problems with facial recognition have all contributed to these challenges.


Biden Asylum Policy Challenged in Court

The Biden administration’s attempt to tighten asylum policies sparked legal battles. President Biden’s policy aimed to make it more challenging for specific migrants to apply for asylum. However, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar issued a temporary block, raising concerns over its legality. While the decision was under appeal, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the policy to remain in effect for now. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Immigrant Justice Center are among the organizations leading the legal charge against this policy, advocating for a fair asylum process.

Florida's Immigration Law Faces Legal Scrutiny

A coalition of organizations, including the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Farmworker Association of Florida, Americans for Immigrant Justice, and the American Immigration Council, initiated a legal challenge against Florida’s SB1718. This law criminalizes individuals who transport undocumented persons into Florida. Penalties range up to five years in prison, with more severe terms for repeated violations or those involving minors. The lawsuit contends that the law represents an unconstitutional state attempt to regulate federal immigration and that its language is unconstitutionally vague.