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Recent Immigration News: Updates and Changes You Need to Know About

1. “Aged Out” Kids Protected By New Policy

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently announced new policy updates to the Child Protection Act that was initially launched in 2002. The new policy is set to provide protection to older children of immigrants who hold temporary work visas, allowing them to remain in the United States while their guardians await the processing of their green cards. 

Prior to this new protection policy, many of these children who arrived in the country as minors with parents who are in possession of H-1B temporary work visas would lose their legal status. Even though the parents are sponsored by their employers for a green card, the extensive backlogs prolong the process of gaining permanent residency for years. The long wait affects “aged out” kids who turn twenty-one during this process because they are no longer eligible to remain in this nation. Approximately 200,000 “aged out” kids who grew up in this nation as minors were being forced to get another visa in order to stay in the United States, but if they were unable to obtain one, they had to return to their home country. 

The new CSPA (Child Status Protection Act) calculation procedure has been automatically applied by USCIS to all pending and recently submitted adjustment of status petitions as of February 14th, 2023.  The policy change should reduce the number of age-outs in cases where applicants have correctly submitted adjustment of status petitions in accordance with the Dates for Filing table. However, it will not stop all children from aging out during the permanent residence process.

2. Foreign Workers Permitted to Renew Visas by State Department 

Under a new pilot program that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be applying throughout this new year, certain foreign employees will no longer need to go overseas in order to renew their visas since they may do so from within the United States.These domestic visa renewals, which were halted in 2004, are being reinstated in order to protect foreign employees from potentially lengthy delays in their home countries, provide businesses additional assurance, and assist ease with the backlog at United States consulates overseas.

Temporary visa holders have been required to go to a U.S. consulate abroad to renew their visas for the past twenty years. However, ever since the outbreak of Covid-19, visa processing at consulates overseas have slowed down, causing serious backlogs that have forced many visa holders to leave the nation only to find themselves trapped since there aren’t enough appointments available for visas. Overall, the pandemic has shown us all how difficult it was for these immigrants to return to their origin countries, as well as how hard it was for them to get visa appointments that would allow them to return to their homes in the United States. Therefore, the intention of the new pilot program is meant to address and ease all of these difficulties. 

According to reliable sources, the State Department is preparing a pilot scheme that will allow H-1B and L-1 visa holders who are employed in the United States to extend their status from here. The technology industry often uses H-1B visas to employ highly qualified foreign immigrants with college degrees, whereas L-1 visas are given to foreign managers who have been moved to the United States by their company.

3. Plan Announced to Limit Number of Asylum Seekers at the Border

President Joe Biden has recently announced a rule that will deport asylum seekers who attempt to cross the United States borders illegally. The announcement of preparations for a temporary regulation that would punish asylum seekers who cross the border illegally or neglect to request for protection in other countries they pass on their route to the United States is the most rigorous border control move to date. 

No matter how they enter the country, refugees running from persecution are entitled to asylum under the United States immigration law. The order from President Biden would imply that anyone who enters the country illegally is ineligible for asylum, and may go into effect as early as May and last for two years. The fine may possibly lower the number of border crossers who are let into the country while waiting for a hearing in the overburdened immigration courts in the United States by making it simpler for the government to deport border crossers who indicate a fear of danger. 

According to the plan, Biden’s asylum rule should encourage migrants to use legal, secure, and orderly entry points into the United States or to seek asylum or other forms of protection in the nations they pass through, therefore decreasing dependence on networks that traffic people for monetary benefit. This action comes two years after the Biden administration scrapped a similar rule from the Trump administration that mandated that migrants seeking asylum in the United States first apply for safeguards in three Central American nations.

4. Program Protecting 300,000 Immigrants from Deportation Reexamined

Recently, a federal appeals court agreed to reexamine a case that might determine the destiny of more than 300,000 immigrants who are lawfully residing in the country, regardless of a decision that had permitted the government to remove their temporary legal status. The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of hundreds of thousands of immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan was terminated by the Trump administration in accordance with a 2020 decision made by a three-judge panel in the California-based appeals court, which was overturned by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The appeals court has agreed to rehear the case with all of the currently sitting judges present, after receiving a number of requests from lawyers representing immigrants registered in TPS programs. The recent ruling grants a victory to TPS holders and their advocates who have been pleading with congress to allow TPS holding immigrants to apply for permanent residency for quite some time. This decision is also the most recent development in a difficult, protracted legal battle over the TPS policy, which enables the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to grant work permits and protection from deportation to immigrants from nations affected by war, natural disasters, or other humanitarian crises.