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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.


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

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

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%.

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

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:

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

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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%.


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.


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.


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.


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.

August 2023 Immigration Policy Update

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.


July 2023 Immigration Policy Update

July 2023 Immigration Update

In the month of July 2023, the United States witnessed several significant developments in immigration policy. Lawmakers are actively working on legislation to offer a path to permanent status for Afghan evacuees, while other bills challenge birthright citizenship and propose the creation of a Federal Office of New Americans. Additionally, executive agencies are implementing new family reunification parole processes and exploring refugee programs for non-Mexicans in Mexico. On the judicial front, the Supreme Court has made rulings on various immigration-related cases. In this blog, we’ll explore these immigration policy updates.

Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Seeking to Offer Path to Permanent Status for Afghan Evacuees

On July 13th, 2023, a group of bipartisan lawmakers reintroduced the Afghan Adjustment Act, aiming to grant permanent status to thousands of Afghans evacuated to the U.S. after the fall of Kabul in 2021. This legislation holds promise for countless Afghans, including those living in Greater Cleveland and Ohio, offering them a pathway to a secure future.

Source: National Immigration Forum

Legislation Challenging Birthright Citizenship Introduced in House of Representatives

Rep. Matt Gaetz proposed a bill that would deny birthright citizenship to children born in the U.S. to non-U.S. citizen parents. Gaetz cited children born to parents on tourist or temporary visas and those born to undocumented parents as reasoning behind the bill. The bill would not apply to those “lawfully admitted as refugees or permanent residents or performing active services in the U.S. Armed Forces.” Though the bill faces constitutional hurdles, it reflects growing nativist sentiments and requires close monitoring.

Source: Washington Examiner

Bill Proposing Creation of Federal Office of New Americans Reintroduced in Congress

Representatives Jayapal, Meng, and Garcia, along with Senator Markey, introduced a bill that would establish an Office of New Americans to support immigrants in adjusting to life in the U.S. and improve the immigration system. This initiative, endorsed by the National Partnership for New Americans, offers hope for immigrant communities seeking better integration.

Source: National Partnership for New Americans

DHS Announces New Family Reunification Parole Processes for Central American Countries

The Department of Homeland Security launched family reunification parole processes for Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. This program aims to reunite individuals with their families already in the United States, providing an opportunity for thousands stuck in backlogs.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Welcome Corps Launches Expansion of Private Sponsorship Refugee Resettlement to Colleges and Universities

The Welcome Corps introduced Welcome Corps on Campus, enabling colleges and universities to resettle refugee students. This initiative seeks to offer education and career opportunities to refugee students and could pave the way for similar programs worldwide.

Source: National Immigration Forum

Rumor: Biden Administration Weighing Refugee Program for Non-Mexicans in Mexico

U.S. and Mexican officials are reportedly discussing a potential refugee program for non-Mexican asylum seekers in Mexico. If implemented, this program could provide legal avenues for migration for refugees from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.

Source: Reuters

Migrant Encounters at Southern Border at Two-Year Lows

The Customs and Border Protection reported a significant decrease in migrant encounters at the US-Mexico border, attributing the decline to enforcing consequences and providing lawful pathways. However, the recent overturning of asylum policies may impact these numbers.

Canada Targets Students and Workers Stuck in H1-B Lottery

Canada opened visa slots to attract skilled workers and international students who were unsuccessful in the U.S. H1-B lottery, highlighting the challenges in the current H1-B system.

Source: Forbes

Supreme Court Rules on Immigration-Related Cases

The Supreme Court ruled that states cannot sue the federal government to enforce specific immigration policies and upheld a law criminalizing the encouragement of undocumented immigration.

Source: Politico

Federal Judge Blocks New Biden Asylum Policy

A federal judge blocked the Biden administration’s rule disqualifying certain asylum seekers who entered the U.S. without an appointment. The rule aims to curb unauthorized crossings but has faced legal challenges.

Source: Los Angeles Times

June 2023 Immigration Update

June 2023 Immigration Update

FY 2024 Budget Process Continues 

The Budget Process for FY2024 is under way in the U.S. Congress. Global Cleveland and our partners at the National Partnership for New Americans, alongside dozens of other regional/national non-profits are encouraging Congress to include additional Backlog Reduction funding for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This is in addition to an expansion to the funding for the USCIS Citizenship and Integration Grant program which supports the work of agencies and non-profits around the country seeking to help new Americans prepare for and successfully apply for U.S. Citizenship. 

Regional Processing Centers for Central/South American Migrants open in Guatemala and Puerto Rico  

In April 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration announced that as part of their post Title 42 strategy they would be opening Regional Processing Centers for Central/South American Migrants in countries around Central/South America 

On June 12th, the first two of these centers opened in Guatemala and Costa Rica with a third facility planned to open in Colombia in the next few months 

  • These centers will not allow any migrants to apply for a status in the United States, but rather will inform them if they are eligible for any legal status, temporary or permanent. 
  • This is an attempt to dissuade migrants who will be ineligible for admittance to the United States from making the long dangerous journey to the U.S.-Mexico Border. 
  • The effectiveness of these centers will be seen in the coming months and years as they begin working with migrants. 

Reparole Process for Afghan Allies Detailed and Opened  

On June 8th, USCIS formally unveiled the process for Afghan Allies who arrived as part of Operation Allies Welcome to apply for reparole in the United States and extension of their Employment Authorization for two years. This process will be fee-exempted and will only requiring the online or paper filing of an I-131 form.  

  • Any Afghan parolee who has applied for asylum or adjustment to permanent residence is ineligible to apply for reparole as they will be considered for it automatically alongside their application for a permanent immigration status.  
  • Any current Afghan parolee who has not applied for a permanent status or has applied for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is eligible for the new reparole process and extension of their employment authorization.  

This parole process opened on June 8th and all eligible Afghan Parolees are able to apply. Please visit the USCIS portal for Afghan newcomers for more information: Information for Afghan Nationals | USCIS 

Below is an official walkthrough video of the online reparole application process provided by USCIS. 

TPS Extension for El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua Announced 

On June 13th, 2023 the Biden-Harris Administration announced that they would be extending Temporary Protected Status for individuals from El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua currently benefitting from the program. Approximately 337,000 people, will benefit from this relief and will be able to apply to remain in the United States for another 18 months. 

Pilot Program for Visa Renewal 

Reuters reported that the Biden-Harris Administrations new pilot program to allow some H1-B and L-1 workers in the United States to renew their visas here in the United States rather than travel back to their home country. 

  • This pilot program will be available to some Indian H1-B and L-1 workers. 
  • This program has the ability to allow foreign workers here in the United States to avoid thousands of dollars in travel costs.  
  • If this Pilot program is successful we may see it expanded to include more foreign workers here in the United States and make it easier for these people to build their lives here in the U.S. and contribute to the U.S Economy. 
  • Link to Reuters Report: Exclusive: US to ease visas for skilled Indian workers as Modi visits | Reuters 

First Welcome Corps Refugees Arrive on World Refugee Day 

Back in January, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the Welcome Corps program to allow private U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents to sponsor refugees to come to United States  

In June 2023 the United States Supreme Court decided a key immigration related Supreme Court Case: U.S v Texas  

In short, the State of Texas sued the Biden-Harris Administration and the Department of Homeland Security over the DHS deportation enforcement priorities emphasizing the deportation of convicted criminals over that of other undocumented migrants. The court ruled 8-1 in favor of the Federal Government upholding precedent that immigration enforcement priorities are decision of the Federal Executive Branch, not state governments or the court system.  

The decision in U.S. v Texas was announced on Friday June 23rd, 2023. 

May 2023 Immigration Update

May 2023 Immigration Update

The End of Title 42 

The pandemic ended Public Health Policy Title 42 ended earlier this month on Thursday May 11th. For clarity the summary of the rule from last months update has been reincluded.  

On April 27th 2023, The Biden-Harris administration announced a sweeping series of new actions and changes to DHS policy as part of the U.S. Government Adjustment to the end of Title 42 on May 11th, 2023. 

Changes of great note are include:

  • Imposing Stiffer Consequences for Unlawful Border Crossings
    • Rapid expulsion of all caught unlawfully crossing the border under Title 8 
    • 5-year ban of legal entry into the United States 
    • Banned from pursuing Asylum Claims 
  • Proposed Solutions to Limit Unlawful Crossings 
    • Expansion of Access to CBPOne phone application for asylum appointments 
    • Note: So far, the CBPOne app has mostly been nonfunctional or overwhelmed as reported by multiple independent Media outlets. Long term effectiveness of CBPOne as primary means of seeking asylum in the United States is questionable. 
  • Doubling of Refugee Admissions from Western Hemisphere 
  • Creation of a family reunification process through Humanitarian Parole for people from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Colombia. 
    • Note: Similar programs have shown effectives in the short-term for migrants from Haiti, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba, however there has been strong Republican opposition to these programs and whether this would survive an administration change calls into question long-term viability 
  • Humanely Manage Migrant Flows with Partners 
    • Processing Centers in Latin American countries to process people’s claims before they arrive at the U.S Southern Border. First two facilities intended for Colombia and Guatemala
    • Note: This idea may help prevent the overwhelming problems at the U.S. Border long-term and could become an effective part of U.S. Immigration Policy, however there are legitimate concerns about government capacity to do this effectively and without violating due process.  
  • Increase anti-smuggling operations and increase deportations for quote “those with no lawful basis to stay in the United States” 
    • Note: The effects this will have in practice remain to be seen. Deportation numbers and apprehension and expulsion of migrants at the border are already at or near all-time highs. Punitive expulsion and deportation policies of shown little effectives in terms of dissuasion under any administration over the last few decades.  

What has happened since the End of Title 42? 

  • Unauthorized border crossings and individuals seeking asylum at the border have both gone down since Title 42 ended, likely because of the harsher penalties that the return of Title 8 means for those who cross the border. 
    • With people still waiting in Mexico and arriving in Mexico from Central and South America how long this acts as a deterrent remains to be seen. 
  • The long-term effects of the new asylum policies remain to be seen however the rules are being challenged in court by the ACLU. 
  • Border Apprehensions remain down more than 3 weeks out from the end of Title 42 
  • The State of Texas and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton are suing the Federal Government over the use of the CBP One app to allow asylum seekers to get asylum appointments at ports of entry – Original Complaint.pdf ( 
    • The State of Texas is arguing that by providing this option that Federal government is encouraging people without a legal pathway to immigration to come to the United States 

Reparole for Afghan Nationals

    • Without this program tens of thousands of Afghan Allies would have been at risk of losing their legal status and work authorization 
    • To be clear this is NOT an automatic process, Afghans must apply for reparole either online or on paper starting in June 2023. 
      • Please visit the USCIS website to keep track of updates info on the full process if you need to apply for reparole or are assisting someone applying for reparole 

Updates on Parole Processes for Cubans, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, and Haitians 

Secure the Border Act of 2023 – The GOP border bill introduced in April

  • Passed House of Representatives 
  • Similar legislation being considered in the United States Senate 

Santos-Zacaria v Garland