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  1. ✅Biden’s new DHS Plan to Restore Trust in Our Legal Immigration System

The New York Times obtained President Biden’s 46-page blue print plan called “DHS Plan to Restore Trust in Our Legal Immigration system” with multiple ideas how to dismantle former President Trump’s restrictions on legal immigrations, and reduce visa backlogs and wait times.

📝Key policy proposals outlined in the document include:

🔸Making it easier for more people to immigrate to the United States, including highly-skilled workers, asylum-seekers, and farm workers.

🔸Reducing fees or providing fee waivers for immigrants who file their applications online.

🔸Increasing virtual interviews and electronic filing.

🔸Revamping the U-visa program, which provides nonimmigrant visas to certain crime victims who assist law enforcement.

🔸Implementing new regulations to “encourage full participation by immigrants in our civic life.”

  1. ✅New Head of USCIS tells Senate she will reduce visa backlogs, waiting times, and restore USCIS to financial stability

New Head of USCIS — President Biden’s nominee to head U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Ur Jaddou, has promised to (1) reduce visa backlogs and (2) ensure the long-term solvency of the beleaguered federal agency. She is daughter of Iraqi and Mexican immigrants. 

📈Jaddou, appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee during a nomination hearing last week, said she would focus on returning USCIS to firmer financial footing after the agency asked Congress for a billion-dollar bailout last year.

Jaddou promised to address the crippling visa backlogs that have left hundreds of thousands of would-be immigrants in limbo.

“My most immediate responsibilities if confirmed will be to return the agency to firm solvency, resolve dramatically increasing processing times and backlogs, and utilize 21st-century tools,” she said.

🎓Jaddou, the daughter of Mexican and Iraqi immigrants, has two decades of experience in immigration policy, law, and administration, according to a biography provided by the White House. She served as chief counsel at USCIS from June 2014 to January 2017. She is a graduate of Stanford and UCLA School of Law.

During the hearing, she argued that her experience and existing relationships with former colleagues gave her a “head start,” and that her goal would be to “ensure the hardworking and dedicated men and women at USCIS have the resources, support, and leadership they need to carry out their roles without undue difficulty. “

  1. ✅USCIS has updated its maskpolicy

Fully vaccinated individuals no longer have to wear a face covering. Individuals two years old and older who are not fully vaccinated must still wear a face covering.

To be considered fully vaccinated, it must be at least two weeks after receiving a second dose in a two-dose series or at least two weeks after receiving a dose of a single-dose vaccine.

😷USCIS has eased other requirements for fully vaccinated individuals who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Those who have returned from domestic air, international air or cruise ship travel in the past 10 days may enter USCIS facilities if they are fully vaccinated. Individuals who have been in close contact (within six feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) with anyone known to have COVID-19 in the previous 14 days may also enter USCIS facilities if they are fully vaccinated. Healthcare workers who consistently wear an N-95 respirator and proper personal protective equipment or equivalent when in contact with COVID-19 positive individuals continue to be exempt from reporting close contact.

In DHS-controlled spaces, this guidance supersedes state, local, tribal, or territorial rules and regulations regarding face coverings.

  1. ✅Biometrics are to be suspended for certain categories

📑Citizenship and Immigration Services will temporarily suspend the biometrics submission requirement for certain applicants filing Form I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, requesting an extension of stay in or change of status to H-4, L-2, and E nonimmigrant status. 

USCIS has also began the policy of REUSING old biometrics for new filings by immigrants.