Not an amnesty, no path to citizenship: what Build Back Better could mean for immigration if it passes the Senate
Last week Build Back Better passed the House. We expect it to be brought to a vote in the Senate in mid-December. The immigration portion of Build Back Better includes provisions paving the way for employees and others waiting in backlogs, and increases in some immigration-related fees. It also would provide for up to 10 years of work authorization and protection from removal for undocumented people who have been living in the United States since before 2011, and $2.8 billion for the Department of Homeland Security to reduce processing backlogs. The House bill would also recapture more than 200,000 unused green cards that would otherwise expire each year. In addition, it would provide for diversity visas for those refused a visa, prevented from seeking admission, or denied admission to the United States solely because of certain executive orders and limitations on visa processing, visa issuance, travel, and other effects associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. It remains to be seen whether the bill will become law in its current version or will be revised or defeated. Among various factors, Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough (former INS attorney) earlier rejected several previous immigration-related provisions in the draft bill that included a path to citizenship. Because this version does not contain a new path to citizenship, Democrats are hopeful that the Parliamentarian’s previous reasons for rejection would not apply and will result in her approval. Stay tuned for more updates as this potentially historic legislation moves forward!
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Here is the Immigration News You NEED to Know Now
UP-TO-DATE IMMIGRATION NEWS
Build Back Better Act, Passed in House, Includes Immigration Provisions; Senate’s Next – The House of Representatives passed the “Build Back Better” budget reconciliation bill. It includes $100 billion toward immigration measures, including provisions paving the way for employees and others waiting in backlogs, and raising some immigration-related fees. It also would provide for up to 10 years of work authorization and protection from removal for undocumented people who have been living in the United States since before 2011, $2.8 billion for the Department of Homeland Security to reduce processing backlogs, and recapturing unused green cards that would otherwise expire each year.
USCIS Conducts Third Random Selection From Previously Submitted FY 2022 H-1B Cap Registrations – On November 19, 2021, USCIS selected additional registrations to reach the FY 2022 H-1B numerical allocations, including the advanced degree exemption. This follows a second random selection in July 2021, after the initial selection in March.
New Work Authorization Extensions Affect Form I-9 Completion for Certain Employees – USCIS automatically extended work authorization for L-2 nonimmigrants who are the dependent spouses of L-1 nonimmigrants, and E nonimmigrants who are the dependent spouses of E-1, E-2, and E-3 nonimmigrants. USCIS also automatically extended work authorization for certain H-4 nonimmigrants who are dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants.
China-Mainland Born EB-5 Non-Regional Center Visa Categories are Current for December – The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin for December 2021 notes that China-mainland born EB-5 (C5 and T5) non-regional center visa categories are “Current” for December.
ESTA Application Revisions to Include Mandatory Social Media Collection; DHS Seeks Public Comment– U.S. Customs and Border Protection is amending the ESTA application to change social media collection from optional to mandatory. CBP also will begin collecting biometric data for identity confirmation on ESTA applications.
For details on these news briefs,click here!
New Publications and Items of Interest
Training on Afghan arrival categories and documentation. The Department of Homeland Security’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program will present a training on Thursday, December 2, 2021, 1-2 p.m. ET on the immigration documentation that each Afghan arrival category may have and how to use SAVE to verify newly arrived Afghans’ immigration status or parole. Topics will include an overview of Operation Allies Welcome; common Afghan arrival categories and codes; sample documentation; resources; and a question-and-answer session. Registration information “will be forthcoming.” https://www.uscis.gov/save
New E-Verify feature. A new E-Verify feature, myUploads, allows employees to upload required documents in JPEG, PNG, or PDF formats to help resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs). Employees can access their my E-Verify accounts by logging into their USCIS online accounts and uploading the requested documents. They can still use fax or mail to submit documents if they prefer. The employer should provide the Further Action Notice (FAN) to the affected employee, discuss the TNC privately with the employee, and allow the employee to decide whether he or she will contest the TNC. The FAN includes the steps for using myUploads to help resolve a DHS TNC. Once uploaded, the employee must call the number on the FAN to resolve the case.https://myeverify.uscis.gov/
New SAVE features. Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) is enhancing its case search capabilities, including improved usability through a search bar and other features, and a more robust case search engine. SAVE will notify users by email at least three weeks before the go-live date for enhancements. https://save.uscis.gov/web/
- Coronavirus.gov: Primary federal site for general coronavirus information
- USA.gov/coronavirus: Catalog of U.S. government’s response to coronavirus
- CDC.gov/coronavirus: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information
- American Immigration Lawyers Association: https://www.aila.org/advo-
media/issues/all/covid-19 (links to practice alerts on this site are restricted to members)
- NAFSA: https://www.nafsa.org/
Immigration Agency Information
Department of Homeland Security:DHS.gov/coronavirus
03/17/fact-sheet-dhs-notice- arrival-restrictions-china- iran-and-certain-countries- europe
- Overview and FAQs: https://www.ice.gov/
- Requirements for ICE Detention Facilities: https://www.ice.gov/doclib/
- Updates and Announcements:https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/
- Accessing I-94 Information: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/
Department of Labor:
- Office of Foreign Labor Certification:
- OFLC Announcements (COVID-19 announcements included here): https://www.foreignlaborcert.
- COVID-19 FAQs:
- § Round 1 (Mar. 20, 2020): https://www.foreignlaborcert.
- § Round 2 (Apr. 1, 2020): https://www.foreignlaborcert.
- § Round 3 (Apr. 9, 2020): https://www.foreignlaborcert.
- Travel advisories: https://travel.state.gov/
content/travel/en/ traveladvisories/ea/covid-19- information.html
- Country-specific information: https://travel.state.gov/
content/travel/en/ traveladvisories/COVID-19- Country-Specific-Information. html
- J-1 exchange visitor information: https://j1visa.state.gov/
- Executive Office for Immigration Review: https://www.justice.gov/eoir/
Agency Twitter Accounts
- EOIR: @DOJ_EOIR
- ICE: @ICEgov
- Study in the States: @StudyinStates
- USCIS: @USCIS
Immigrant and employee rights webinars. The Department of Justice’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER), of the Civil Rights Division, is offering a number of free webinars for workers, employers, and advocates. For more information, see https://www.justice.gov/crt/
E-Verify webinar schedule. E-Verify has released its calendar of webinars at https://www.e-verify.gov/
NFor Details on these and other topics, click www.immigration.net!
Government Agency Links
Follow these links to access current processing times of the USCIS Service Centers and the Department of Labor, and the Department of State’s latest Visa Bulletin with the most recent cut-off dates for visa numbers:
USCIS Service Center processing times online: https://egov.uscis.gov/
Department of State Visa Bulletin:
Visa application wait times for any post:https://travel.state.gov/
Kuck Baxter Immigration — In The News
Charles Kuck’s opinion statement entitled “Action needed in Ga. and Congress on immigration relief” was published by the Atlanta Journal and Constitution https://www.ajc.
Charles Kuck was quoted in a press release on MadKudu Inc. v. USCIS, a case in which the parties reached a settlement agreement about the classification of market research analyst positions as H-1B specialty occupations. Mr. Kuck said, “It is unfortunate that the only way for USCIS to follow the law and do the right thing is to bring litigation. But, know this—we will be watching for USCIS compliance with this decision, and we will be prepared to pursue litigation for other interpretive violations of written law and regulation that the agency has permitted to occur.”
Charles Kuck was quoted by Bloomberg Law in “Chronic Green Card Backlog Gains Lawmakers’ Bipartisan Attention. Commenting on things U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) could do to reduce backlogs, Mr. Kuck said, “The idea that USCIS does not have the resources is not true. They don’t have the will.” https://bit.ly/3ARW2ii(registration required)
Charles Kuck was quoted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in “Kemp’s Immigration Policy Could Complicate Bid for Second Term.” Mr. Kuck said Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia was in search of a “shiny object” to distract from former President Trump’s ongoing attacks targeting the governor. “This is a reelection stunt. If he’s going to the border, he’s searching for a solution that does not exist,” Mr. Kuck said. https://bit.ly/3Bt9gDo
Charles Kuck, represented plaintiffs in a recent case, Kinsley v. Blinken, in which a U.S. district court judge issued a decision on October 5, 2021, prohibiting the use of travel bans as a reason not to process or issue visas. Mr. Kuck was quoted by the Times of India in “Good News for H-1B Visa Holders Stranded in India.” Mr. Kuck said, “We are grateful that Judge Boasberg saw through the cascade of baseless legal theories put forward by the Department of State to finally and affirmatively rule that it is a violation of federal law to refuse to issue visas solely because a President has proclaimed an entry ban under the Immigration and Nationality Act 212(f). We call on the Department of State to now do away with its ridiculous and legally unnecessary national interest exemption program and get back to the business of visa issuance around the world regardless of those entry bans.” https://bit.ly/30bBbKl
Charles Kuck was quoted by Atlanta Magazine in “Freedom University Wasn’t Meant to Last This Long.” He said the Board of Regents of Freedom University is “not answerable to the state legislature” and can change policies if it chooses, at least for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients. He blamed a lack of progress on “constant finger-pointing between the legislature and the regents. ” ‘It’s their fault. It’s their fault. It’s their fault.’ That’s what’s extraordinarily frustrating about this. Nobody wants to take responsibility for depriving these kids of an education.”https://www.atlantamagazine.
Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC published its US legal guide for Corporate Immigration. It can be found at https://iclg.com/practice-
Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC has an office in Adel, Georgia, near the Irwin, Folkston, and Stewart Detention Centers, which hold more than 6,000 detained immigrants. The new office is managed by our Partner Elizabeth Matherne, the former Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Irwin Detention Project.https://www.
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Feel free to reach out with any questions or for help in your immigration case at 404-816-8611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.