President Biden is Open to Dividing His Immigration Bill & other Immigration News for January 29, 2021
Peri B. Edelman | January 29, 2021
President Biden is Open to Dividing His Immigration Bill
On January 20th, President Biden indicated that immigration reform was a top priority for his administration. Many House members working on Biden’s immigration proposal said that they want to try to pass a comprehensive bill before splitting it up into components. It is well established that a sweeping immigration package could meet fierce resistance in the 50-50 Senate if Democrats do not eliminate the legislative filibuster or find ways to include immigration proposals in the budget reconciliation process.
Biden Orders COVID-19 Entry Restrictions
On January 25, President Biden signed a proclamation that foreign travelers who were present in present in Brazil, Ireland, the Schengen Area of Europe, South Africa, or the United Kingdom during the preceding two weeks would be barred from entry into the United States. The proclamation remains in effect until terminated by the administration.
The entry bans do not apply to:
- U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), noncitizen nationals, or the spouse of a citizen or LPR.
- Parents or legal guardians of an unmarried U.S. citizen or LPR under age 21.
- Siblings of a U.S. citizen of LPR if both are unmarried and under 21.
- Children, foster children, or wards of a U.S. citizen or LPR, as well as prospective adoptees entering in IR-4 or IH-4 classifications.
- Members of the armed forces and their spouses and children.
- Foreign nationals traveling at the invitation of the U.S. government for efforts against COVID-19.
- Noncitizen air or sea crewmembers, foreign government officials and their immediate relatives, and noncitizens covered by NATO or U.N. visas.
- Any noncitizen whose entry is deemed in the national interest by the Secretaries of Homeland Security or State.
President Biden Freezes Trump’s Last-Minute H-1B Non-Immigrant Visa Rules
President Biden has instituted a 60-day freeze on two last-minute rules from the Trump administration that would allow only higher-wage foreign workers to be employed in the U.S. The January 8th rule states that only the highest-paid applicants to the H-1B visa program would be selected. Currently, foreign workers are randomly selected through the annual H-1B visa lottery. The new rule was scheduled to take effect on March 9. Under the January 14thrule, U.S. employers filing for H-1B non-immigrants would be required to attest that they would pay H-1B holders higher wages than other U.S. citizen employees with similar experience and qualifications. That rule was scheduled to take effect on March 15.
Texas Judge Blocked President Biden’s 100 Deportation Delay
On Jan. 20, the President Biden issued a delay on deportations for many undocumented immigrants who have final orders of removal. The memo states that the 100-day pause applies to all noncitizens with final deportation orders except those who have engaged in a suspected act of terrorism, people not in the US before Nov. 1, 2020, or those who have voluntarily agreed to waive any right to remain in the United States. The Judge claimed that it violated the Administrative Procedures Act. Biden administration does not recognize this injunction as legally binding, arguing a previous administration cannot tie the hands of a current one on matters of federal policy. This is unlikely to be sustained on appeal.
Senate Democrats Introduce Legislation to Grant TPS to Venezuelans
Democratic senators introduced legislation to grant Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, to Venezuelans in the U.S. saying the actions former President Trump took on his last day in office to shield Venezuelans from deportation fall short. Trump’s executive order deferred for 18 months the removal of Venezuelans who were at risk of being sent back to their home country under the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program. Both TPS and DED allow recipients to legally live and work in the United States, but experts say the latter is a better option because it allows migrants to legally work. Biden said during the presidential campaign that he would extend TPS protections for Venezuelans. TPS can be granted by Congress or a presidential executive order.
Click on a Link Below for the Most Recent Information Relating to Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visa Scheduling Status in the United States Embassy/ U.S. Consulate General for the Following Countries:
I have been receiving many calls as to when a visa appointment will be scheduled. Many foreign Consulates have not scheduled any immigrant visa appointments since the pandemic began. Please be patient. If your case is in the queue, it will be scheduled once Consulate resume processing.
This newsletter is a general information regarding recent changes in immigration law. Every matter is different. If you believe a recent change applies to you, please contact my office. If you know someone who it applies to, please refer them to my office. Thank you.