February 2023 Immigration Update

February 2023 Immigration Update

Welcome Corps

Disclaimer: The information provided in this video does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available in this video are for general informational purposes only. Information may not constitute the most up-to-date information.

Senate Introduces 2023 Version of the DREAM Act

Senator Lindsay Graham (R- South Carolina) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) reintroduced the DREAM Act to the Senate on February 9th, 2023. If passed into law, the DREAM Act would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who came into the country as minors and colloquially known as Dreamers.

Biden-Harris Administration announces end to COVID-19 Pandemic Health Emergency Declaration 

Title 42, the current health policy used to rapidly expel asylum seekers and other migrants at the Southern Border, will end with expiration of COVID-19 Emergency Status. Title 42 is a health and safety policy it has effectively been used as a de facto immigration policy for the last 3 years. 

  • Title 42 allows for the closure of ports of entry and rapid expulsion of individuals crossing the border, ostensibly to prevent the spread of disease 
  • The last two Presidential administrations have used Title 42 to expulse asylum seekers caught crossing the border 
  • A Title 42 expulsion is not the same as a formal deportation order and bears none of the same long-term legal ramifications 
  • As a result, the use of Title 42 was relatively ineffective as many individuals who were apprehended and expulsed were apprehended again, sometime multiple times, as people tried to cross the border again with days or weeks of their initial apprehension and expulsion

This will have a major impact implantation of rules and security regulations at the border.

Biden-Harris Administration proposes new Asylum policy

With Title 42 moving out of effect in May the Biden-Harris Administration has announced a new 153-page rule on Asylum Policy to attempt and prevent the Asylum system from being overloaded immediately. This new rule is similar to several Trump-Pence policies that would have placed eligibility limits on asylum seekers, however the Trump-Pence era rules were struck down for unconstitutionality.

These new policies raise some concerns for asylum seekers:

  • Lack of reliable access to internet connection for asylum seekers to set appointments 
  • High demand for appointments and low availability is making it very difficult for full families with children to acquire an adequate number of appointment slots 
  • The exemption for Unaccompanied Minors may lead to more desperate families sending children alone to try and get across and get access to Asylum procedures 

State of the Union Address

During his State of the Union Address, President Biden encouraged both Houses of Congress to Act on Immigration Reform, specifically pushing for passage of the DREAM Act

Update on Special Process for Venezuelans, Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans

A group of states, led by Texas, are suing the Biden-Harris Administration to end this program. DHS has reported that over 7,000 people have applied through sponsorship through this program, with over 1,700 having already been resettled as Humanitarian Parolees in the United States.

January 2023 Immigration Update

January 2023 Immigration Update

The Afghan Adjustment Act Fails To Pass In Congress

The Afghan Adjustment Act, which would provide a path to permanent residency for over 70,000 Afghans evacuated from Kabul, and expand protections for those left behind in Afghanistan, has failed to pass at the end of the last congressional session. We hope to see this bill passed in the next Congress.

USCIS Proposes Changes to Naturalization Fees

USCIS has proposed a hike in fees. If approved, it will cause naturalization fees to go up 18 to 20 percent. In the most extreme case, green card fees with travel documentation and work authorization to rise from $1,225 to $2,820.

Task Force on New Americans Reestablished

The Task Force on New Americans has been reestablished by the Biden Administration. It seeks to address five key areas for immigrants:

  • language learning and access
  • health and wellbeing
  • workforce development training
  • financial access and education
  • data and research

TPS Extension

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) has been extended and redesignated for 18 months for individuals from Haiti and Yemen already present in the United States as a result of continued conflict, natural disaster, and political instability.

Title 42 Expansion

The Biden-Harris administration has expanded Title 42 to immediately expel nationals from Nicaragua, Cuba, and Haiti from the U.S., expediting removal and while establishing a limited parole process for individuals from these nations and Venezuela. The limited parole process allows migrants to enter the US legally with a financial-based sponsor. There is a monthly cap of up to 30,000 admissions.

Welcome Corps

On January 19th, the Biden-Harris administration launched Welcome Corps, a private sponsorship program for refugees coming to United States. Private sponsor groups of five or more individuals will be able to sponsor refugees.