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.