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Immigration reform has been a topic of debate in the United States for many years. New developments could impact the future of immigration in the USA. We’re focusing this week’s newsletter on topics from H-1B grace period extensions to parole extensions for Ukrainian refugees. It’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest immigration news in the US. In our Immigration Newsletter, we will share how immigration reform could affect you.

1. Recommendation of Extending H-1B Grace Period

After a layoff, non-immigrant employees in the United States on an H-1B work visa have a few options. Within 60 days, they can find another job, switch their visa type, or return to their home country. This is way too quick of a period for immigrants to be able to figure their situations out. Therefore, a presidential advisory panel has recommended an extension of the H-1B visa grace period.

With a non-immigrant H-1B visa, United States businesses and employers may hire foreign employees for specialized positions. To be specific, these are positions that call for theoretical or technical competence. However, in recent times, there have been thousands of layoffs among these immigrants. Some are in the technological field, Amazon, or with the dissolvement of Silicon Valley Bank. According to a presidential advisory subcommittee’s recommendation, the federal government should increase the grace period. They argue that terminated H-1B employees should have 180, rather than 60 days. This gives them ample time necessary to find a new job or come up with other options.

Another growing concern for those with a H-1B visa is the current glitch in the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) system. Many people have reported being wrongfully denied registration due to a “duplicate submission,” even when it was their first time applying. It is unknown how many victims there are , but USCIS is trying their best to establish a solution.

2. US Companies Obligated to Relocate their Foreign Employees

Recent immigration barriers are forcing companies throughout the United States to relocate their foreign employees overseas. This is due to a shortage in work visas. According to Envoy Global, ~80 percent of U.S. companies have either transferred or relocated non-immigrant employees to offices abroad due to visa dilemmas.

Top relocation destinations include Canada, coming in first place (with a percentage of approximately 60 when it comes to transferring employees). Canada is suitable due to a more worker-friendly immigration system. This includes instant work permits for spouses and a shorter track to permanent residence, as well as the country’s closeness and shared time zones with the United States. Following Canada comes Germany, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. These countries have all accepted a good percentage of employees from the United States, making them a hot spot. The increased number of employees being transferred is the consequence of difficulties getting a work visa. Many non-immigrant employees were unable to get an H-1B or other employment-based visa. More than eight out of ten firms ended up losing a foreign employee throughout this previous year. In addition, the surge in outsourcing plans has been fueled by the growth of hybrid and remote work. This holds true across many different fields and businesses.

3. Migrants Prohibited from Entering Texas Border

A recent plan recognized as Operation Lone Star has been put in place by the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Military Department along the Southern Border between Texas and Mexico. Working alongside Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the goals of these collaborative efforts remain to protect the border. This includes halting the smuggling of people, narcotics, and weapons into Texas and ending transnational criminal activity between ports of entry.

Almost 350,000 unlawful immigrants have been apprehended since Operation Lone Star has first begun back in March of 2021. There have 26,000+ criminal arrests and 23,000+ felony charges filed as a result of the multi-agency operation. Throughout this operation, the Department of Public Safety has removed approximately 367 million fatal doses of fentanyl from passing the Texas border.

The deadly vulnerabilities and dangerous situations at the Texas border were created by the Biden Administration’s failure to protect the border and are still being filled by Operation Lone Star. Due to President Biden’s open border policy, every person detained or arrested and gram of narcotics confiscated would have otherwise entered the US through Texas.

4. Parole Extensions for Ukrainians

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently announced that the agency is going to permit a parole extension for Ukrainian refugees. This applies to those entered the nation in the past year because of the war with Russia. This parole extension applies to any Ukrainian that has entered a United States port of entry between 2/24/22 and 4/25/22. During this time, thousands of Ukrainians were granted parole, allowing them to reside in this nation for a year. However, parole did not grant them a route to legal permanent residency or green card status. With the approaching one-year anniversary of the parole period, these Ukrainians are facing the expiration of their set time here.

For this reason, DHS has decided to consider these parolees for an additional year extension period. Ukrainians will be able to stay in the country legally, maintain their right to work depending on their parole, and stay eligible for important benefits. Most significantly, the program will provide safeguards to Ukrainians who were previously ineligible for Temporary Protected Status. TPS is another important program that grants its participants temporary protections and work permits.

In addition, as part of the government’s reaction to the relocation caused by the conflict in Ukraine, immigration parole has been widely used. The Uniting for Ukraine initiative, which enabled American-based supporters to sponsor Ukrainians in the country, was unveiled by the Biden administration in April of last year. This program granted Ukrainians travel permission and a two-year parole term.

At Shepelsky Law, we understand the importance of staying up-to-date with the latest immigration news and how it could affect your immigration status. Our experienced attorneys stay informed about the latest developments in immigration reform and can help you navigate any legal changes that may affect you. We provide personalized guidance and support to help you understand your options and make informed decisions about your immigration status. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with immigration reform in the USA.