April 2024 Immigration Update

April 2024 Immigration Update

Want to keep up with immigration news in the U.S.? Every month, Global Cleveland publishes our immigration update so that you can stay informed about the latest immigration news.

This month’s Immigration Update at a glance:

  • USCIS Makes Changes to Streamline Social Security Card Process
  • House to Investigate Deportation Cases
  • Congress Aid Package Passes Without Immigration Provisions

Congress passes aid package without immigration provisions

House to Investigate 'Botched Deportation' cases

Reps seek accountability for death of people in immigration facilities

US Talking to China over Border Crossings

Biden, López Obrador, Pledge Joint Action on Border

  • US President Joe Biden and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced new measures to work closely together to reduce unauthorized border crossings.
  • The presidents said that they would have their national security teams work in concert to “significantly reduce irregular border crossings while protecting human rights”
  • While the administration did not disclose specifics on what this would mean it is believed that the measures could include more deportation flights and stronger enforcement measures directed towards the use of buses, railways, and airports for unauthorized border entry.
  • Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2024/04/29/us/politics/biden-mexico-illegal-immigration.html

H1B Lottery bids down

  • Bids for the H1B visa are down 38% in 2024 comapred to a similar figure at this time in 2023.
  • However, this is believed to be because of a crackdown on fraud. It is thought that many of the previous applications were actually from companies submitting multiple applications in an effort to game the system
  • Back in 2021, the USCIS dropped a requirement to mail in extensive paperwork in an effort to ease barriers, but this unintentionally made it easier for companies to fraudulently submit duplicate applications.
  • USCIS Director Ur Jaddou said that the drop was attributed to more efforts to stop the gaming of the system
  • Data also showed that technology companies are among the top users of the H1-B visa, with Amazon.com, Apple, Google, Infosys, Microsoft, and Meta (Facebook) all in the Top Ten.
  • Some tech companies had pushed for the change, including Intel, who said that fraud in the lottery was making it harder for legitimate applications from companies following the rules.

Trump Calls for Local Police to be Used for Immigration Crackdown

  • Ex President Donald Trump, running to regain his old job, said that he would employ local police to deport immigrants in the US without authorization
  • Trump told Time magazine that local law enforcement would be a key to his plans to increase deportations.
  • While local law enforcement cannot be ordered to enforce federal immigration law, Trump was open to the possibility of using federal funding as a way to push them to do so.

USCIS: I-693s will remain valid

USCIS Makes Changes to streamline Social Security Card Process

Kansas City Mayor: our city needs immigrants

  • Kansas City Mayor Quintin Lucas said that his city was looking at ways to attract more immigrants in an effort to boost its workforce
  • The Mayor told reporters that he was in talks with Denver and New York City, both of which have seen an influx in migrants in recent years that has put considerable strain on city services, about how to bring migrants with work authorization to Kansas City
  • Lucas told Bloomberg News that the city’s companies were in serious need of employees.


Scam Alert: Deportation Scam - Translated into Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, and Ukrainian

Scam Alert: Deportation Scam

The Cuyahoga County Scam Squad wants you to know that scam callers may pose as federal agents to try to scare you into paying them. Here’s what you should know:

Real immigration and federal agents:

  • Will never call you to threaten you with arrest or deportation
  • Will never demand you pay money
  • Will never tell you that you have to act now

Government agencies do not accept gift cards or crypto currency, They do not accept cash sent by courier.

You can check your visa or immigration status by calling USCIS’s National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283.

Our Scam Squad partner, the Federal Trade Commission, offers translated materials about scams at ftc.gov/languages

Report scams to the Cuyahoga County Scam Squad at 216-443-7226 or by visiting cuyahogacounty.gov/scamsquad

Arabic

تنبيه احتيال: عمليات احتيال الترحيل

تريد فرقة الاحتيال في مقاطعة كوياهوجا أن تعلم أن المتصلين المحتالين قد يتظاهرون بأنهم عملاء فيدراليون لمحاولة إخافتك ودفعهم. إليك ما يجب أن تعرفه:

مكتب الهجرة الحقيقية والوكلاء الفيدراليين:

  • لن يتصل بك أبدًا لتهديدك بالاعتقال أو الترحيل
  • لن يطلب منك أبدا دفع المال
  • لن يخبرك أبدًا أنه عليك التصرف الآن
  • لا تقبل الوكالات الحكومية بطاقات الهدايا أو العملات المشفرة، ولا تقبل الأموال النقدية المرسلة عن طريق البريد.

يمكنك التحقق من حالة التأشيرة أو الهجرة الخاصة بك عن طريق الاتصال بمركز خدمة العملاء الوطني التابع لإدارة خدمات المواطنة والهجرة في الولايات المتحدة على الرقم:

 800-375-5283

يقدم شريكنا في فرقة الاحتيال، لجنة التجارة الفيدرالية، مواد مترجمة حول عمليات الاحتيال على  ftc.gov/languages

قم بالإبلاغ عن عمليات الاحتيال إلى فرقة الاحتيال في مقاطعة كوياهوغا على الرقم 7226-443-216 أو عن طريق زيارة cuyahogacounty.gov/scamsquad

Chinese

反诈防骗警报:警惕最新诈骗手段

凯霍加县反诈骗小组提醒大家,最近不法分子十分猖獗,通过电话冒充联邦特工或联邦部门人员,谎称当事人涉案急需缴费,实施各类诈骗行为。特此提示民众:

真正的移民部门和联邦工作人员:

  • 绝不会打电话威胁将您逮捕或驱逐出境
  • 绝不会要求您直接支付任何金钱
  • 绝不会告诉您必须立即采取行动或汇款转账

政府机构不接受任何礼品卡或加密货币,也不接受任何寄送的现金。

如果需要查询您的签证或移民申请状态,可以拨打美国移民局(USCIS)的客户服务中心电话800-375-5283。

联邦贸易委员会作为反诈骗小组的合作伙伴已经提供有关骗局的翻译资料,请见网站:https://consumer.ftc.gov/features/languages

请民众提高警惕,防范各类诈骗。如遭遇诈骗,请尽快按此方式报案:电话216-443-7226或访问网站https://cuyahogacounty.gov/consumeraffairs/scam-squad  。

Hindi

घोटाला चेतावनी: निर्वासन घोटाले

कुयाहोगा काउंटी स्कैम स्क्वाड आपको यह बताना चाहता है कि स्कैम कॉल करने वाले संघीय एजेंट के रूप में आपको भुगतान करने के लिए डराने की कोशिश कर सकते हैं। यहां वह है जो आपको जानना चाहिए:

वास्तविक आप्रवासन और संघीय एजेंट:

  • आपको गिरफ़्तारी या निर्वासन की धमकी देने के लिए कभी भी फ़ोन नहीं किया जाएगा
  • आपसे कभी भी पैसे देने की मांग नहीं की जाएगी

• आपसे कभी यह नहीं कहेंगे कि आपको तुरंत कार्रवाई करनी होगी।

सरकारी एजेंसियां ​​उपहार कार्ड या क्रिप्टो करेंसी स्वीकार नहीं करतीं, वे कूरियर द्वारा भेजी गई नकदी स्वीकार नहीं करतीं।

आप यूएससीआईएस के राष्ट्रीय ग्राहक सेवा केंद्र को 800-375-5283 पर कॉल करके अपने वीज़ा या आव्रजन स्थिति की जांच कर सकते हैं।

हमारा स्कैम स्क्वाड भागीदार, संघीय व्यापार आयोग, ftc.gov/भाषाओं पर घोटालों के बारे में अनुवादित सामग्री प्रदान करता है

कुयाहोगा काउंटी स्कैम स्क्वाड को 216-443-7226 पर या cuyahogacounty.gov/scamsquad पर जाकर घोटालों की रिपोर्ट करें।

Spanish

Alerta de estafa: estafa de deportación

El Cuyahoga County Scam Squad (Equipo Contra Estafas del Condado de Cuyahoga) quiere que Ud. sepa que hay estafadores que llaman y se hacen pasar por agentes federales para tratar de asustarle y hacer con que Ud. les pague. Lo que Ud. debe saber:

Agentes reales de inmigración y federales:

  • Jamás llamarán para amenazarle con prisión o deportación
  • Jamás exigirán que Ud. pague dinero
  • Jamás dirán que Ud. debe actuar inmediatamente

Las agencias gubernamentales no aceptan tarjetas de regalo o criptomoneda. Ellas no aceptan dinero de servicios de entrega de dinero.

Usted puede verificar su visa o estatus de inmigración llamando al Centro de Atención del Cliente de USCIS llamando al 800-375-5283.

Nuestro asociado de Scam Squad, la Federal Trade Commission (Comisión Federal de Comercio), ofrece materiales sobre estafas traducidos en ftc.gov/languages

Denuncie estafas al Cuyahoga County Scam Squad llamando al 216-443-7226 o visite cuyahogacounty.gov/scamsquad

Ukrainian

Повідомлення про шахрайство: депортаційні афери

Команда боротьби зі шахрайством Округу Кайахога повідомляє, що шахраї-абоненти телефонуючи можуть видавати себе за федеральних агентів з метою залякування/погрози заради отримання коштів.

Ось інформація, яку необхідно знати:

Правдиві імміграційні та федеральні агенти:

  • Ніколи не будуть телефонувати, щоб погрожувати арештом чи депортацією.
  • Ніколи не будуть вимагати гроші до оплати.
  • Ніколи не скажуть вам діяти негайно.

Урядові установи не приймають подарункових карток чи криптовалюту. Вони також не приймають готівку, відправлену кур’єром.

Статус вашої візи чи імміграційний статус ви можете перевірити зателефонувавши до Громадського Центру Обслуговування Споживачів у USCIS за номером телефону 800-375-5283.

Наш партнер по Команді боротьби зі шахрайством, Державна Торгова Палата, пропонує перекладені матеріали про шахрайство на веб-сайті ftc.gov/languages.

Повідомляти про шахрайство до Команди боротьби зі шахрайством округу Кайахога за телефоном

(216) 443-7226 або перейти за посиланням https://cuyahogacounty.gov/consumeraffairs/scam-squad.


March 2024 Immigration Update

March 2024 Immigration Update

Want to keep up with immigration news in the U.S.? Every month, Global Cleveland publishes our immigration update so that you can stay informed about the latest immigration news.

This month’s Immigration Update at a glance:

  • Spending Bill Contains 12,000 SIVs for Afghan Allies
  • Biden Announces Immigration Proposals in State of the Union
  • SCOTUS Lifts Hold on Texas Law

Spending Bill Contains 12,000 SIVs for Afghan Allies

  • Federal lawmakers passed a spending bill that contained among other things 12,000 special immigrant visas for Afghans who aided the US military, and also extended the program until 2025
  • Finding security for Afghan allies who fled their country has been a concern since the Taliban overthrew the Afghan government in 2021 and the US withdrew
  • Congressman Michael McCaul of Texas said that the 12,000 visas was a “great response” to the needs of the Afghan evacuees
  • A more permanent solution is needed, advocates say, and the bipartisan Afghan Adjustment Act remains pending.
  • https://www.voanews.com/a/us-adds-12-000-special-immigrant-visas-for-afghans-advocates-say-more-needed-/7542185.html

Laken Riley Act Passes House

  • A bill that would require the detention of any migrant that committed theft or bulgary passed the House earlier this month.
  • The bill was named after Laken Riley, a young woman who was murdered in Georgia earlier this year. The suspect in the murder, a Venezuelan man, had previously been detained on theft charges but was released
  • The bill was primarily supported by Republicans, but also received considerable support from the Democratic caucus, with 37 Democratic members of Congress voting yes.
  • Proposals to attach the bill to the spending “minibus” were underway but ultimately did not lead to the inclusion of the bill
  • https://www.cnn.com/2024/03/07/politics/house-passes-laken-riley-act/index.html

Mexico’s President Proposes Immigration Policies

  • Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador weighed in on the US immigration debate and proposed measures that the US could take to address the high levels of migration across the US Mexico border.
  • López Obrador suggested the US commit $20 billion annually in aid for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, lift sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela, and offer legalization for Mexican citizens in the United States.
  • López Obrador, who has been President of Mexico since 2019 and is leaving office this year as the Mexican constitution limits president to a single six year term, told 60 minutes that “the flow of migrants will continue” if these measures are not taken.
  • The President also opposed any efforts to close the border, saying it would harm the economy in the US and Mexico.
  •  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mexican-president-andres-manuel-lopez-obrador-talks-immigration-cartels-fentanyl-crisis-60-minutes-transcript/

Government Requires Facial Recognition for Non-Passport Holding Migrants

Biden Announces Immigration Proposals in State of the Union

SCOTUS lifts hold on Texas law

Block Held on Texas SB4

  • A federal appeals court kept in place a block on Texas’ controversial SB4 law
  • The bill, which would have local law enforcement arrest migrants who engage in unathorized crossings of the US-Mexican border, has been the subject of a legal battle between the state and the federal government, who say that the law interferes with federal jurisdiction
  • The decision, a 2-1 ruling, held an earlier suspension of the law’s implementation, and the subject remains one that will continue to play out in the court system.
  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/2024/03/27/texas-immigration-law-federal-appeals-court/

At least three of the Baltimore Bridge victims were immigrants, report says

  • Tragedy struck Baltimore, Maryland, when a container ship, the Dali, truck the Francis Scott Key Bridge after she experienced engine issues, collapsing the bridge
  • The Consul General of Guatemala confirmed two Guatemalan citizens were among the presumed dead, while a local immigrant group confirmed that Miguel Luna, originally from El Salvador but a near 20-year Baltimore resident, was also among the victims
  • The construction crew closed the bridge to traffic when the captain of the Dali issued a mayday call, saving lives.
  • https://abcnews.go.com/US/baltimore-bridge-collapse-missing-construction-workers/story?id=108535622


February 2024 Immigration Update

February 2024 Immigration Update

Want to keep up with immigration news in the U.S.? Every month, Global Cleveland publishes our immigration update so that you can stay informed about the latest immigration news.

This month’s Immigration Update at a glance:

  • Higher immigration levels are helping employers fill roles in a tight labor market, according to a Congressional Budget office reports
  • A proposal to link aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan with measures for border security failed to gain support in the Senate
  • President Joe Biden is considering an executive action that would restrict access to the US asylum system

DOCTORS Act introduced, would reallocate unused residency slots

  • A bipartisan group of congress members introduced the DOCTORs Act, which would allow states to transfer unused Conrad 30 slots to states that need them
  • The Conrad 30 program allows foreign born medical school graduates to remain in the United States
  • The bill, similar to one that was introduced in the senate last year, has 21 sponsors/cosponsors, 10 republicans and 11 democrats. It was introduced by Republican Congressman Troy Nehls of Texas, and is supported by GOP conference chair Elise Stefanik and Border Security and Enforcement Committee Chair Clay Higgins.

Source: https://stefanik.house.gov/2024/1/stefanik-helps-introduce-bill-to-address-doctor-shortage

Border Deal Compromise Collapses in Senate

  • A proposal to link aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan with measures for border security failed to gain support in the Senate
  • The proposal was criticized by conservative Republicans in the senate who wanted a more restrictive border policy
  • Speaker Mike Johnson had already stated that the deal would not pass the house

Wisconsin Introduces Bill to Smooth Path for International Medical Graduates

Biden considering Executive Order to Restrict Border Crossings

  • President Joe Biden is considering an executive action that would restrict access to the US asylum system.
  • Biden would use the 212(f) law, a section of federal law that enables the president to suspend entry to this country under certain circumstances. It was used by the Trump administration on several occasions
  • Migrant arrivals on the US-Mexican border have surged in recent years
  • Sources say Biden hasn’t decided for sure yet, but may announce the decision within the next two weeks
  • https://www.cbsnews.com/news/biden-weighs-invoking-executive-authority-stage-border-crackdown-212f/

USCIS Made Progress in Reducing Backlog

  • The US Citizenship and Immigration Services says it has made progress in the reduction of case backlogs recently, and said in a press release they had reduced their case backlog by 15%
  • The agency also made progress on the citizenship/naturalization process, with an average time it takes a new citizen to be naturalized dropping from 10 ½ months to just 6.1 months.
  • USCIS reported giving the oath of allegiance to over 875,500 new Americans in fiscal year 2023
  • https://www.boundless.com/blog/uscis-breaks-records-and-reduces-backlogs/

CBP Statistics Show Record High Migrant Encounters

US-Reimposes Venezuela Sanctions

Judge Blocks Texas Border Law

  • A US Federal Court halted implementation of a Texas state law that would have enabled state and local officials to arrest migrants crossing the US Mexico border
  • The ruling is a victory for the federal government, which has opposed the law, saying border enforcement is a federal power
  • In the case, Judge David Ezra, who was appointed to the bench by Republican President Ronald Reagan, issued a priliminary injuction and suggested that the federal government was likely to win the case eventually.
  • Legal experts have said the case may soon reach the Supreme Court

Texas AG Sues Catholic Charity helping Refugees

Report: Immigration fueled economic recovery

  • Higher immigration levels are helping employers fill roles in a tight labor market, according to a Congressional Budget office reports
  • Newly arrived immigrants will help the US Economy grow by $7 trillion over the next decade
  • Immigration has increased under President Biden; when Biden took office in January 2021 foreign born workers were 17.3% of the workforce, now they are almost 19%.
  • https://www.axios.com/2024/02/27/biden-immigration-workers-inflation-wages


January 2024 Immigration Update

January 2024 Immigration Update

Want to keep up with immigration news in the U.S.? Every month, Global Cleveland publishes our immigration update so that you can stay informed about the latest immigration news.

This month’s Immigration Update at a glance:

  • Senators are negotiating a proposal that would take several measures to reduce unauthorized border crossings 
  • Immigration parole has been used to allow entry to over one million people since President Joe Biden took office
  • In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court allowed the federal government to remove barriers on the US-Mexico border 

McConnell Says Grand Deal May Not Occur due to Trump Opposition

  • Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said a deal on immigration and foreign aid was “in a quandry”. 
  • Ex-President and current candidate Donald Trump has opposed the deal and has worked to prevent it from being approved by congress 
  • McConnell said that while no decision is in made the proposed agreement, which would involve Israel and Ukraine aid in exchange for border security measures, might be broken up into individual bills

Source: CNN

Senate GOP take differing positions on political impact of immigration deal

  • Amid reports that Presidential candidate Donald Trump was advocating against a deal on immigration, some GOP Senators have told the press they still favor a deal
  • Some in the party have reportedly raised the issue of whether a successful border security bill could make the immigration issue less potent in the 2024 presidential election
  • Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina told reporters it was “immoral” to decline to pass good policy in order to help Trump’s candidacy.

Source: NBC

Senators Look at Deal on Immigration

  • Senators James Lankford (R-Okla.), Krysten Sinema (I-Ariz.), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) are negotiating a proposal that would take several measures to reduce unauthorized border crossings  
  • Senator Lankford told the press that a report saying the deal would increase green cards and only allow migrant deportations if border crossings exceed 5,000 per day over a weeklong period was inaccurate  
  • The congressional GOP have sought to make additional funding for Ukraine contingent on a border security deal  

Semiconductor Sector Pushes for Visa program

  • Semiconductor industry experts have advocated for changes to the visa system to bring more workers in the sector to the US.  
  • Semiconductor Engineering wrote an article that got significant attention in the industry, and quoted an expert who felt that the government recognized the issue of the talent shortage.   
  • The US has seen increasing investment in semiconductor manufacturing in recent years, with Intel and TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) making major capitol investments here.  
  • The Semiconductor Industry Association, a trade group within the sector, estimated a 67,000 person shortage of semiconductor workers by 2030 

Source: Semi Engineering

NYC Mayor: Right to Shelter Laws contributing to migration crisis

  • New York City has experienced considerable difficulty handling the influx of migrants crossing over the US-Mexico border over the past year; Mayor Eric Adams told reporters that the city’s ‘right to shelter’ laws were a contributing factor 
  • New York’ right to shelter law, which oblidges the local authorities to provide housing in certain circumstances, was not designed for and should not apply too the present situation, city officials assert. 
  • New York City has received around 161,000 asylum seekers as of this month 
  • Legal Aid of New York City told reports they hoped a compromise could be reached

Source: NY Post

H1-B Pilot Program Scheduled to Begin in 2024

  • The US State Department will start a pilot program allowing for H1-B visas renewals to be processed in the United States. 
  • An estimated 20,000 participants will be eligible for the renewal program starting January 29, 2024   

Source: U.S. State Dept.

Parole Programs Have Admitted One million under Biden

  • Immigration parole has been used to allow entry to over one million people since President Joe Biden took office in January of 2021, according to a CBS News report 
  • Parole was first introduced in 1952, and has been used extensively by the Biden administration 
  • Congress has considered new legislation to restrict the ability of the executive branch to use parole for immigrants.

Source: CBS

Mayors Push for Funding and Work Authorization

  • Denver Mayor Mike Johnston said in an interview that he is pushing for two priorities to be added to a federal deal on immigration: funding for cities and work authorization or immigrants
  • Denver has received an influx of migrants, many arriving via bus from Texas
  • Johnston said that the decision to give TPS to Venezuelans as well as the CBP One application was “a game changer” that helped the city handle the influx of migrants more effectively

Supreme Court: Federal Government can cut Border Wire

  • In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court allowed the federal government to remove barriers on the US-Mexico border
  • The barrier, made of razor wire, was put up by Texas authorities and has been part of a long running legal battle between Texas’ state government and the Biden administration
  • The ruling’s majority saw Justices Jackson, Kagan, and Sotomayor joined by Justices Roberts and Barrett.

Source: Axios

25 GOP Governors Issue Statement Supporting Texas

  • In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on Texas’ dispute with the federal government, 25 Republican governors signed a letter supporting Texas 
  • The letter stated that the Biden administration had failed to do its duty to secure the US-Mexico border, and that Texas was constitutionally within its right to take action. 
  • The White House said in response that the governors should urge their states’ congressional representatives to pass legislation to solve the issue. 

Source: USA Today

Israel-Gaza War Continues, Worries of Broader Conflict

  • The war between Israel and the militant group Hamas has continued, with Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) personnel continuing major combat operations in the Gaza Strip
  • Numerous Israeli civilians remain held hostage
  • The humanitarian situation in Gaza has deteriorated, with a lack of food, water, power, and medical supplies putting lives at risk.
  • The Yemen militant group the Houthis have increasingly attacked shipping in the Red Sea, prompting a joint British American strike against Houthi facilities
  • Meanwhile, Iran launched an attack on Iraqi Kurdistan 

Ecuador’s President Declares State of Emergency after Organized Crime attacks

  • Ecuador erupted into violence after crime lord Adolfo Macias escaped from prison 
  • Members of criminal syndicates attacked numerous targets, including a university and a television station 
  • Ecuadorian president Daniel Noboa declared a state of emergency, and activated the armed forces to restore order 
  • Ecuador has been a significant source of migrants who have claimed asylum in the US, and its liberal visa policy has led it to be a significant location for people trying to get to the US from overseas 

Guatemala President Inaugurated Amid Crisis

  • Bernardo Arévalo took office as President of Guatemala amid an attempt to impede the inauguration following a controversial election.  
  • Arévalo, a diplomat and a son of a former President, won the election last year, but the attorney general’s office sought to annul the election. The country’s supreme court upheld the election results. 
  • The political crisis, in which attempts were made to delay the inauguration of Arévalo, raised concerns that Guatemala could destabilize and contribute to the ongoing movement or refugees and migrants to the US-Mexico border. The chaos resulted in multiple foreign dignitaries, including the President of Chile and King Felipe of Spain to have to leave before the inauguration took place, but Arévalo was sworn in on January 15th.  
  • Source: Griffin Daily News


Meet Cleveland's New African Sister Cities

Cleveland, Ohio Adds New African Sister Cities Relationships

The City of Cleveland signed resolutions to add three new African sister cities relationships in December 2023.

The team at Global Cleveland has been instrumental in strengthening and nourishing Cleveland’s sister city relationships and acted as the catalyst for the new sister city proposals, working closely with partners to forge connections with each of the proposed African sister cities.

Cleveland’s newest sister cities include Tema, Ghana; Kigali, Rwanda; and Cape Town, South Africa.

What Are Sister Cities?

Resolutions declaring the new sister cities relationships to the City of Cleveland.

Sister Cities International was created by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 as a way to foster bonds between U.S. communities and different people around the world. In the wake of WWII, it was envisioned that sister cities relationships would help build cross-cultural understanding and mutual respect that would lessen the chance of future conflicts.

Sister city relationships are formed when two locations enter into a legal or social agreement that is designed to create commercial and cultural ties.

Meet Cleveland's New Sister City: Tema, Ghana

https://www.modernghana.com/news/1013381/tema-then-and-tema.html

Crystal Bryant, assistant vice president of corporate responsibility at KeyBank; William Gary, executive vice president at Cuyahoga Community College; and Kwame Botchway, director of community impact & innovation at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, helped Global Cleveland establish connections with Tema, Ghana.

Joined by William Gary and Kwame Botchway, Global Cleveland presented a resolution to the Cleveland City Council to add Tema, Ghana as a sister city to Cleveland. Every member of the council volunteered to co-sponsor the resolution.

Tema has great potential for collaboration with Cleveland in terms of business and port operation. It is located on the Bay of Benin (a bight on the Gulf of Guinea) and the Atlantic coast of Ghana. Tema is known as the “Harbour City” thanks to its status as the largest seaport in the country, making it a major center for trade.

Meet Cleveland's New Sister City: Kigali, Rwanda

By GATETE Pacifique - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=117217839

Entrepreneur Brian Hall and Rwandan businessman Emery Rubagenda aided in establishing Cleveland’s connections with Kigali, Rwanda.

Kigali, Rwanda is the largest city and capital of Rwanda. Located in the center of the country, Kigali is an economic, cultural, and transportation hub. Much of the city’s GDP is contributed by the service sector (retail, information technology, transport and hotels, and real estate) and agriculture, with growing contributions from tourism. It is the largest business center of Rwanda, and the main point of entry into the country.

Meet Cleveland's New Sister City: Cape Town, South Africa

By Ranjithsiji - This file has been extracted from another file, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=129673723

Cape Town, South Africa’s sports industry and the potential for collaboration with Cleveland was of great interest to Kevin Clayton, chief of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Clayton helped Global Cleveland enter talks with Cape Town.

Cape Town is the capital and oldest city in South Africa. Located on a peninsula and with a long coastline on the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Town is known for its harbor and trade. The modern, cosmopolitan city-life, as well as Cape Town’s proximity to Table Mountain and beautiful beaches have made it a popular tourist destination.


December 2023 Immigration Update

December 2023 Immigration Update

Want to keep up with immigration news in the U.S.? Every month, Global Cleveland publishes our immigration update so that you can stay informed about the latest immigration news.

This month’s Immigration Update at a glance:

Texas allows law enforcement to arrest those who cross the border outside of official ports of entry and begins sending asylum seekers to Chicago via airplane.

The immigration court backlog has reached three million cases, having increased by one million cases in 2023.

A pilot program to allow for H1-B visa renewals to be processed in the U.S. will begin at the end of January 2024.

Texas Border Bill Becomes Law

  • Texas’ Governor, Greg Abbott, signed a series of bills that would toughen the states laws on border enforcement
  • The first bill would make unauthorized crossings of the US-Mexico border into Texas a violation of state law, allowing for state law enforcement to arrest those who cross outside of official ports of entry.
  • Abbott said the Federal government has in his view failed to act on border security, making it necessary for the state to take action. The bills critics have called it unconstitutional, saying that immigration enforcement is a federal rather than state legal matter.
  • Abbott also signed a bill funding money for border barriers.
  • Texas has long been at the center of migration, with the city of Eagle Pass being a particularly common place for migrants from Central and South America (and beyond) to cross the border into the US

Source: Texas Tribune

Immigration Issue Could Impact Congressional Compromise

  • With Congress at a budgetary impasse, there has been discussion of a deal in which aid for Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel will be passed in exchange for border restrictions and a curbing of the President’s parole powers.
  • A negotiating group formed in the senate, including Senators James Lankford (Republican of Oklahoma), Krysten Sinema (Democrat Caucusing Independent of Arizona), and Chris Murphy (Democrat of Connecticut).
  • Congress broke before Christmas without a deal, but Lankford said that they would work on the bill in January.

Source: AP News 

Chicago City Council Announces Measures For Migrant Busses

  • Chicago’s Board of Alderman – the equivalent of city council – passed legislation allowing local law enforcement and other authorities to impound buses that drop of migrants outside of designated zones and at improper times.
  • Officials in the Illinois city say the changes are necessary as bus operators are frequently violating city policy. “If folks are going to so flagrantly disregard the law, we are going to need this stronger enforcement,” said Alderman Daniel La Spata, who supported the legislation
  • Reports have emerged of buses instead dropping off asylum seekers in inner-ring suburbs to avoid the new measures
  • Chicago’s city law department says buses have violated rules “at least 77 times”

Source: Axios Chicago

Texas Sends Migrants to Chicago on Plane After Chicago Passes Action On Buses

  • After Chicago’s City Council passed legislation to impose penalties on bus operations who drop off asylum seekers at unapproved locations or without filling out paperwork, Texas’ state government has begun sending migrants to the city on airplanes.
  • 120 asylum seekers were transported on a plane from El Paso, Texas, to Chicago, Illinois earlier this month.
  • Both the White House and Chicago’s city government criticized the move.

Passport Processing Times Back to Pre-2020 Waiting Periods

  • Passport processing times in the US have reached pre-pandemic levels for the first time since COVID-19 pandemic began globally in March of 2020.
  • Boundless Immigration found that in December of this year, routine serbice was down to 6-8 weeks, instead of 7-10.
  • They also found that expedited service, which costs more, was now done in 2-3 weeks, rather than 3-5.
  • There was increased demand for passport applications from late 2022 until the fall of this year, possibly because of pent-up demand to travel from the COVID-19 pandemic, when international borders were largely closed to non-essential travel.

Source: Boundless

H1-B Pilot Program Scheduled to Begin in 2024

  • The US State Department will start a pilot program allowing for H1-B visas renewals to be processed in the United States.
  • An estimated 20,000 participants will be eligible for the renewal program starting January 29, 2024.
  • H1-Bs haven’t been able to be renewed in the US domestically since 2004.
  • The government hopes that the program will boos t the economy by creating a more simple and efficient process for H1-B visa holders to renew their visas.

Source: U.S. Department of State

Study Finds that Majority of Employment-Based Green Cards Went to Workers' Families

  • A study by the Cato Institute thinktank found that 55% of employment based green cards went to family members of workers.
  • 2022 was no outlier, Cato also found the numbers were similar in 2020 and in 2021
  • The EB-4 was almost exclusively family members, the other types of EB green cards were generally close to evenly split.
  • Over 80% of green cards were adjustments of status, rather than new arrivals.

Source: CATO Institute

Administration Imposes Visa Bans On Certain Israeli Settlers

  • After meeting with Israeli leaders, Secretary of State Antony Blinken informed his counterparts that the US intends to impose bans on entering the United States on Israeli settlers in the West Bank who have committed acts of violence against Palestinian civilians.
  • This follows a threat to take action, including by issuing visa bans, by President Joe Biden in an October editorial in the Washington Post.
  • Attacks against Palestinian civilians by Israeli settlers have become more common in the West Bank since the October 7th attack on Israel by Hamas.

Source: The Guardian

Remote Port of Entry Closes Due to Influx

  • The Lukeville crossing on the US Mexico border closed temporarily after a shift in immigration routes changed the situation at the crossing.
  • Lukeville is in a remote location in Pima County, Arizona, and was ill prepared for a large influx, which Customs and Border Protection reported was the fault of smugglers taking advantage of vulnerable migrants.
  • Arizona’s two Senators – Mark Kelly and Krysten Sinema, and its Governor Katie Hobbs, criticized the closure in a joint statement.
  • As of now, the border crossing has not resumed normal operations.

Source: The Guardian

Passing of Five-Year-Old in Illinois Asylum Seeker Shelter Leads to Criticism

  • A five year old boy, housed temporarily at an Illinois shelter, passed away in December following a medical emergency.
  • The boy was taken to a hospital but doctors there were unable to save his life.
  • Advocates have criticized conditions in the shelters, which “locked down to outside access.”
  • Chicago Police have opened an investigation.

Source: AP News

Settlement with Separated Families Approved by Federal Judge

  • Judge Dana M. Sabraw approved a settlement that promises that the US will not separate families of migrants for the next eight years just for crossing the border.
  • Biden administration officials have said they have no plans to resume family separations, but ex-President, and current candidate Donald Trump has promised to revive the separations if he returns to the White House.
  • Those affected by the family separation policy are able for aid, including mental health resources, work permits, humanitarian protection, and housing assistance.

Source: NPR

Immigration Court Backlog Tops 3 Million Cases

  • Syracuse University reports that there are now 3 million immigration cases pending.
  • The court system has been tested by an increase of asylum claims in the US.
  • Those with cases pending now comprise a population comparable to that of Chicago, Illinois, America’s third largest city.
  • The backlog increased by 1 million in 2023.
  • One contributing factor has been the rule changes that have come from attorney generals, as Loretta Lynch, Jeff Sessions, William Barr, and Merrick Garland – attorney generals of the US since 2016, have issued rule changes that have led to cases being reheard (this is from the Charlotte article, but it fits more in this, and both articles refer to the same study).

Source: USA Today

Increase in Immigrants Going to Court Without Lawyers: New York Report

  • Around half of people going through immigration court in New York lack at attorney, according to a Syracuse University report.
  • New York state immigration cases have increased every year since 2012.
  • The proportion of cases where the people involved had attorneys have declined since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic; before 2019 about 4/5ths of immigration cases in New York had legal representation.
  • New York has long led in providing legal representation to immigrants, but is now behind Virginia and California.

Source: Gothamist

Carolinas’ Immigration Backlog Among Nations’ Worst

  • The immigration case backlog in Charlotte is particularly severe according to a Syracuse University study.
  • Charlotte’s courts serve the entire states of North Carolina, but has only five judges to handle cases, and of these only three hold court in person.
  • North Carolina Professor Rick Su told the Charlotte Observer that either hiring more immigration judges or tightening asylum laws could help alleviate the situation.

Source: Aol


October 2023 Immigration Update

October 2023 Immigration Update

In this October 2023 immigration policy update we will delve into the most recent updates in immigration-related matters, covering legislative, executive, and judicial aspects.

White House Budget Seeks $14 billion for immigration system

President Biden’s White House budget proposal sought $14 billion – up from $10 billion in August – for immigration related policy. The proposal would increase funding for Customs and Border Protection, adding additional officers and funding aimed at combatting fentanyl importation. The request also contains emergency funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as calls for more western hemisphere cooperation to screen potential migrants, using Safe Mobility Offices in Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. Finally, it aims to speed up asylum and workforce permit processing, as well as increasing the capacity of immigration courts

Source: Immigration Impact

Texas moves forward immigration legislation

Texas lawmakers moved forward an immigration and border security bill that has aroused significant controversy since it was introduced. One bill, SB-4, would crack down on human smuggling with a 5-10 year prison sentence. The bill did have some cross party support in the Texas Senate.

A second proposed law, SB-11, would make it a state crime to enter Texas from Mexico from any point that was  not an authorized point of entry. Senator Juan Hinojosa, who supports SB-4, criticized SB-11, saying it was not a real solution and would simply swell county jails.Armando Walle, another critic, opposed the bill because it gives too much discretion to police, especially those who are not trained to enforce immigration laws.

Source: Houston Public Media

Louisiana Rep Mike Johnson Elected Speaker

After a long process, where previous speaker nominees Steve Scalise, Jim Jordan, and Tom Emmer were unable to get enough votes secure a majority, little-known Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson was elected as the new Speaker of the House. Johnson has introduced legislation to raise the bar on the requirement of asylum seekers.

Source: Politico

Legislative Situation Means Lack of Federal Support for Ukrainian Refugees

A USCIS article looked at the unintended consequences of the US Congress’ budget debate for Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Right now, Ukrainians arriving after September 30th are unable to access welfare benefits or resettlement services.

Read the Report: https://sway.office.com/G2sJzODXxs6iY3Cs?ref=email

Government Settles Family Separation Lawsuit

The US Government settled with 4,000 migrants separated from their families under the presidency of Donald Trump. The settlement allows them to live and work in the US for three years, during which time they can receive housing, mental health assistance, and legal assistance to apply for asylum. The resulting settlement also prohibits the federal government from separating migrant families for the next eight years.

Source: NBC News

Administration announces changes to H1-B Program

The Biden administration unveiled major changes to the H-1B Visa program. These include:

  • Multiple entries by employers on behalf of the same employee are no longer permitted
  • The “employer-employee relationship” requirement, introduced in 2010, was repealed. It has been considered a major roadblock for entrepreneurs
  • Remote job offers are now permitted
  • The “Cap-Gap” provision for F-1 visas are extended
  • USCIS will increase site visits

Source: USCIS

Venezuela, US Agree to Hold Presidential Elections in Exchange for Sanctions Relief

The US lifted sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry as part of an understanding that the government, considered a dictatorship by international NGOs, hold competitive elections. The government allowed a competitive primary to be held, which was won by opposition activist Maria Corina Machado, who had previously been barred from politics (and could still be disqualified). Venezuela is a major source of asylum seekers, as the country has been in a severe political and economic crisis for more than a decade.

DHS Announces new Family Reunification Process for Ecuadorian migrants

The Department of Homeland Security unveiled a new family reunification parole process for which some Ecuadorian immigrants will be eligible for. Eligible will be Ecuadorian nationals who have “family members are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents and who have received approval to join their family in the United States. Specifically, Ecuadorian nationals and their immediate family members can be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis for a period of up to three years while they wait to apply to become a lawful permanent resident.” A federal register notice will be published soon, providing greater detail on the change.

Source: DHS

US Resumes Deportation Flights to Venezuela

The US government resumed deportation flights to Venezuela for the first time in years. A total of 130 Venezuelans were flown back to Caracas, Venezuela’s capitol, by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Administration looking at H-1B Visa Renewal

The Biden administration is examining a rule for H-1B Visa renewal that offers options to renew without having to leave the US. US-based renewals, discontinued in 2004, may make the process more convenient for applicants as well as reducing the workload on consular offices overseas.

Source: Bloomberg Law

New Study Spotlights Economic Impact of TPS Holders

Research from the American Immigration Council looked at immigrants granted Temporary Protective Status (TPS) and their economic impact. It found that they spent billions in taxes and spending, and contributed to regional economies through home purchases. TPS households had a higher rate of entrepreneurship than the US born workforce (14.5% vs. 9.3%), paid $1.3 billion in federal taxes and $966.5 million in local taxes, and held $8 billion in purchasing power. 94.6% were employed in 2021.

Source: Immigration Impact

Government Accountability Office Reports on Case Backlog

Rebecca Gambler, of the Government Accountability Office, testified to congress about the backlog in U.S. Immigration Court. The Executive Office for Immigration Review EOIR was found to have no strategic workforce plan to address the case backlog.

Immigrant Rights Groups Sue for more info on Migrant Cases

American Immigration Council (AIC) joined the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies to take legal action to compel the government to release information about migrants denied asylum for not obtaining an appointment on the government CBP One app. The app was criticized as “inaccessible to the most vulnerable and marginalized people seeking asylum” by the AIC, and was plagued by glitches.

Source: American Immigration Council


Statement On The Attacks In Israel - October 9

Global Cleveland stands in solidarity with Israel and the individuals and their families who were harmed or lost their lives in the attacks on Israel this past weekend. As a sister city to Beit She’an and as the home of a large diaspora of Israeli individuals, Cleveland has strong ties to Israel. Our hearts are with any Northeast Ohio residents who may be fearing for the lives of their friends and family. Global Cleveland is a steadfast supporter of peace and diplomacy, and we show solidarity with every innocent suffering the impact of such hatred and violence.

We will be attending the special community gathering in support of Israel on Monday, October 9 at 5 pm outside of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland offices at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Building (25701 Science Park Drive). According to the Jewish Federation, this event will feature “comments from local clergy, community leaders, and others as we come together to demonstrate our unshakeable stand with Israel at this time of crisis.” We invite our community to join us at this gathering and add their voice to our call for peace.


September 2023 Immigration Update

September 2023 Immigration Update

In the ever-evolving landscape of immigration policy and legislation, September 2023 has brought about significant changes and developments. From legislative updates to executive actions and judicial decisions, here’s a detailed look at the key events and their implications.


House Passes Continuing Resolution, Avoiding Shutdown

In a crucial move to keep the government operational, Congress passed and President Biden signed a continuing resolution (CR) at the end of September. This CR ensures funding for the government through November 17th. Notably, the CR did not include increased funding for border security, as a previous CR containing such funding failed to pass. Furthermore, it omitted funding for Ukraine, leaving open the possibility of a separate funding bill.

Source

Senators Durbin and Graham Seek Immigration Deal

Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are revisiting the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill, aiming to introduce an updated version. This bill seeks to provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, contingent on measures to improve border security and other reforms. While they acknowledge the challenges of passing the bill in the current Congress, they emphasize the urgency of addressing the national immigration crisis.

Source

Florida Immigration Bill's Impact on Hurricane Recovery

Florida’s immigration law passed in July is raising concerns about its potential impact on hurricane recovery efforts. The law includes provisions requiring hospitals to inquire about immigration status, mandatory E-Verify for certain employers, and harsh penalties for transporting undocumented individuals. As a substantial number of disaster recovery workers are undocumented immigrants, some are reluctant to enter the state, hindering recovery efforts.

Source

Secure the Border Act Introduced in the Senate

Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas introduced the Secure the Border Act (HR2) in the Senate, following its passage in the House. The bill proposes various changes to Department of Homeland Security policies, including asylum application processes, E-Verify requirements, border barriers, and more. Despite support from the GOP, it currently lacks bipartisan support in a Senate controlled by Democrats.

Source

Illinois Governor Calls for Action on Immigration from White House

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has publicly called upon the White House to address the influx of migrants to Chicago, stressing the strain on resources. Pritzker recommended establishing a dedicated office, waiving fees for TPS applicants, improving logistical coordination, and providing financial support to state and local governments and NGOs. He also emphasized the need for an accelerated timeline for employment authorization for migrants.

Source

Administration Encourages Immigrants to Apply for Work Permits

The White House has increased outreach efforts to encourage immigrants to apply for work permits. Measures include sending text messages, distributing posters and fliers with QR codes, and issuing grants to local governments. This initiative comes in response to criticism from some of President Biden’s allies regarding the handling of immigration issues.

Source

Canadian Visa Policy Attracts Immigrants and International Students from the US

Canada’s “startup visa” policy has drawn significant interest from immigrants in the US, leading to a surge in applications. In contrast to the US, which lacks a startup visa program, Canada’s policy has successfully attracted skilled entrepreneurs. A study found that this policy increased the likelihood of US-based immigrants establishing startups in Canada by 69%.

Source

TPS Status for Venezuelans Extended by DHS

The Department of Homeland Security announced an 18-month extension of Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for Venezuelans. This decision comes amid Venezuela’s ongoing refugee crisis and economic collapse. TPS provides temporary protection from removal and employment authorization for eligible individuals in the United States.

Source

State Department Pledges Aid to Haiti

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced measures to stabilize Haiti, which has been plagued by political unrest and gang violence. The US plans to provide $100 million in foreign assistance, sponsor a UN resolution for a multinational security support mission, and offer additional support through the Department of Defense.

Source

Federal Judge Finds DACA Unlawful

In a significant development, Judge Andrew Hanen ruled DACA unconstitutional, echoing a similar decision from 2021. DACA, which provides protection for certain undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children, has been a subject of legal battles. The ruling emphasizes that immigration policy falls within the legislative branch’s purview, not the executive.

Source


In conclusion, September 2023 has seen a flurry of activity in the realm of immigration policy and legislation, with far-reaching implications for individuals and communities across the United States and beyond. The balance between security, humanitarian concerns, and economic interests remains at the forefront of these developments, shaping the future of immigration policy in the nation.