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