Immigration in the News, July 2021

FACT SHEET: The Biden Administration Blueprint for a Fair, Orderly and Humane Immigration System 7/27/2021

This lengthy document includes the following policies relating to asylum seekers:

  • Establishing a dedicated immigration court docket to consider the protection claims of eligible recent arrivals quickly and efficiently.
  • Authorizing asylum officers to adjudicate asylum claims and establish eligibility standards that harmonize the U.S. approach with international standards.
  • Maximizing legal representation by working with pro bono legal service providers.
  • Reducing immigration court backlogs by hiring more immigration judges.
Judge Blocks DACA Program, Barring New Applicants

A federal judge in Texas ruled that the U.S. government can no longer accept new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This is a major setback for immigrants who were brought to the United States unlawfully as children.

The Biden administration is ordered to close the program to first-time applicants while a Texas-led lawsuit makes its way through the federal courts.

Those currently in the program will still be permitted to work and be protected from deportation until a further court ruling.

Farm workforce act: A path to citizenship for undocumented farmworkers, or indentured servitude?

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act would grant undocumented farmworkers legal status and a path to citizenship. But because of its length-of-service requirements workers would be required to work for four or (in most cases) eight years after achieving certified agricultural worker status before they could qualify for permanent residence. As a result activists claim it would limit farmworkers’ rights to unionization and legalization and leave them vulnerable to low wages and poor working conditions.

The bill passed the House in March with bipartisan support, but is unlikely to pass in the Senate.

A Pathway to Citizenship and Economic Growth Through Budget Reconciliation

The Senate Committee on the Budget released a draft of its $6 trillion reconciliation budget blueprint which includes $126 billion to put immigrants on a pathway to citizenship.

This column at the Center for American Progress argues that this is an appropriate use of the budget reconciliation process because putting Dreamers, those eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and essential workers on a pathway to citizenship would add a cumulative $1.5 trillion to U.S. GDP over a decade and create over 400,000 new jobs.

Boundless Immigration News Weekly Recap: July 16, 2021

The White House will be assigning more immigration officers to review DACA applications and promote “public awareness” to remind current DACA beneficiaries to renew their work permits and deportation deferrals.