Beginning on March 9th, the H-1B Cap Electronic Registration opened and our team has been hard at work helping our clients apply. On Thursday, Alex George, Associate Immigration Attorney, hosted a Facebook Live event answering H-1B FAQ’s. Did you miss the event? Check it out here. This week has also been full of big updates from the Biden Administration in regards to immigration reform and options for refugees. Please keep reading to learn more about the rescission of the “public charge rule,” as well as more information on the recent Temporary Protected Status (TPS) being offered to Venezuelan nationals.
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1. Biden Administration to Stop Enforcing “Public Charge” Green Card Restriction — Tuesday, March 9th
On Tuesday, the Biden Administration announced they will stop enforcing the 2019 “public charge rule” which placed restrictions on green cards for immigrants who were likely to use public benefits, like food stamps and health benefits. The Department of Homeland Security stated the public charge rule “is neither in the public interest nor an efficient use of limited government resources”.DHS will be reverting back to the 1999 interim field guidance, which will not consider the use of Medicaid, public housing, or SNAP as part of the public charge inadmissibility determination. This change will allow immigrants to get the services and medical care they qualify for and need in these tough times. The public charge rule caused real anxiety and harm to countless immigrants, many of whom didn’t seek medical care or assistance when they needed it most. We believe this is a step in the right direction, and are excited to see what else the Biden Administration will do to make the U.S. immigration system more efficient, transparent, and welcoming.
“What we are really happy (about) is we are going to be able to end the confusion and fear this has caused” -Inhe Choi, the executive director of the Chicago-based HANA Center
2. Biden Administration to Grant Temporary Protected Status Venezuelans in the U.S. — Wednesday, March 10th
On Monday, the Biden Administration began offering temporary protected status (TPS) to Venezuelan immigrants living in the U.S. This will alleviate the concern of deportation for approximately 300,000 immigrants who sought refuge. In recent years, over 5.4 million Venezuelans have fled their country. Making it one of the largest displacement crises, according to the United Nations. On Wednesday the Miami Herald released an informative list on the application process for TPS. A Venezuelan applying for TPS must prove they arrived in the U.S. prior to March 8, 2021 and must submit their TPS application prior to September 5, 2021. It is important to meet with an attorney to discuss your TPS application. If you are in need of pro bono legal services in Illinois, please check out this list.
Historically, the TPS program has been used sparingly. It serves a refugee status for people whose countries have faced natural disasters or war. The Biden Administration is signaling a clear stance against the policies of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and in solidarity with the Venezuelan people. Allowing Venezuelans to remain safely in the United States is an important step toward ensuring the safety and well-being of immigrants in the U.S.
3. Center for American Progress Discusses the Impact of Immigrant Women in the Workforce — Wednesday, March 10th
In honor of Women’s History Month, the Center for American Progress (CAP) wrote a column based on data from 2018 and 2019 about immigrant women in the workforce. CAP reported that 12.3 million immigrant women, including 2.5 million undocumented women, make up a core facet of the workforce in the United States. The top two fields of employment for immigrant women are health care and social services. Immigrant women make up a large portion of essential workers and have been on the frontline of the pandemic. One study found that 3 out of 4 of undocumented immigrants in the workforce are essential workers. Immigrant women’s participation in the workforce is essential, not only for the public health and economic recovery of the United States but also for their families. 1/3 of immigrant mothers are the primary income earners in their households, but they also experience disproportionate job loss, and women of color have the lowest rate of job recovery. Immigrant women face a daily uphill battle, but still continue to support their families, as well as our country. Millions of them are our frontline heroes, and we must provide a clear pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and recognize how essential immigrants are to our workforce. This column from CAP does a wonderful job of illustrating their struggle while highlighting their critical contributions to the United States.
4. “Opinion: Why we need immigration reform, and why Biden’s policies are a good start” — Tuesday, March 9th
On Tuesday, The Colorado Sun released an amazing op-ed from doctoral student Annie Zean Dunbar on the need for immigration reform and the societal constructs implied in the immigration system. She raises the point that all humans have the right to move locations and that in fact, this is a common aspect of human life. Dunbar immigrated from Liberia as a child and has seen firsthand the impact of immigration reform as well as the joy of being reunited with loved ones. Her article provides a personal and enlightening perspective on the U.S. immigration system and the need for comprehensive reform.
Thank you for taking the time to read this week’s ‘News Review’ from McEntee Law! Want daily immigration news updates? Follow us on Twitter.