State of the Union 2022: Immigration

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This is #8 in my series. One more Party Platform to review after this one. This is important work. But IT’S HARD!!

Texas’s Governor Greg Abbott decided to bus migrants to New York and Washington, D.C. I wonder how much this is costing Texas.

So here’s the Democrats’ Creating a 21st Century Immigration System:

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The opening paragraph of this section of the Democratic Platform acknowledges that one of our country’s strengths is the diversity of our people. Although the section criticizes former President Trump and his administration for “callous, cruel, and reckless” approaches, it also acknowledges that the system was broken before President Trump came into office.

We willBySo thatProgress
Fix our broken immigration system.Rescinding President Trump’s fabricated “National Emergency;”

Terminating the discriminatory travel and immigration bans that disproportionately impact Muslim and African people;

Inviting those whose visas have been denied re-apply to come to the United States;

Reinstating, expanding, and streamlining protections for Dreamers and the parents of American citizen children;

Reversing policies that prevent
victims of gang and domestic violence and LGBTQ+ from seeking asylum;

Ending prosecution of asylum seekers at the border;

Ending policies that force asylum seekers to apply for “safe third countries;”

Ending immigrant wealth test.
We right the wrongs of the Trump AdministrationThe Biden administration rescinded the following :
1) “Remain in Mexico” policy (under challenge at the Supreme Court)
2) “Expedited Removal” rule which opened two new categories for deportation
3) “H1-B” rule which prioritized higher income immigrants, restoring income neutrality

The Biden administration delayed a rule barring immigration linked to contagious outbreaks until December 2022. (This Trump-era rule has been delayed several. times)


Merrick Garland vacated the Trump-era rule that prohibited immigrants from seeking asylum due to gang and domestic violence threats.
Provide a roadmap to citizenship for millions of undocumented workers, caregivers, students, and children.Fast-tracking the citizenship process for those workers who have been essential to the pandemic response and recovery efforts (health care, farmworkers, etc.)We have an immigration system that embodies our values.S. 747: Citizenship for Essential Workers Act  immediately grant the status of legal permanent resident, commonly nicknamed “green card holders,” on any non-citizen in the U.S. who worked in an essential industry or sector, regardless of their documentation status. This bill is in the first stage of the legislative process. It stands a 3% chance of passing.
Make our immigration processes faster, more efficient, and less costly.Eliminating unfair barriers to naturalization, and reducing application backlogs.We strengthen our communities, our families, and our country.No specific bill indentified for this purpose, although the purpose may have been introduce in a different bill.
Support legislation to treat the spouses and children of green card holders as immediate relatives;



Eliminating family-based green card backlogs

Reforming the system to speed up family-based visas;

Eliminating immigration barriers such as the 3-10 year bars;

Removing the 10-year waiting period for waivers to the permanent bars.
 
We end unfair separation of families.H.R. 2920: American Families United Act exercise discretion by declining to remove an alien or bar an alien from entering the United States to prevent hardship for the alien’s U.S. citizen spouse, parent, or child. However, DOJ or DHS may not exercise this discretion if the alien is removable or inadmissible due to certain grounds, including specified crime- and security-related grounds. The bill also removes certain requirements related to birthright citizenship for a child born outside of the United States to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent. Specifically, the bill removes a provision that requires the U.S. citizen parent to be physically present in the United States for at least five years before the child’s birth in order for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship at birth.
This bill has a 21% chance of passing.
Build a 21st-century immigration system.Expanding the annual visa cap for victims of sex trafficking, violence against women and children, and other heinous crimes;

Assuring same-sex couples receive equal treatment.
We reaffirm our commitment to family-based immigration;

Preserve diversity preferences in our immigration system.
H.R. 3648: EAGLE Act of 2022 increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from 7% of the total number of such visas available that year to 15% and eliminates the per-country cap for employment-based immigrant visas. It establishes transition rules for employment-based visas such as (1) reserving a percentage of EB-2 (workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability) and EB-3 (skilled and other workers) visas for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of such visas, and (2) allotting a number of visas for professional nurses and physical therapists. The bill left commitee in April 2022 for consideration by the House or Senate. The bill has been sent from commitee to the House or Senate for consideration. It stands a 4% chance of passing.

S. 959: Secure and Protect Act of 2021 unaccompanied alien child shall not be released from custody while immigration or removal proceedings are pending, with some exceptions. The bill limits asylum eligibility to aliens entering the United States at a designated port of entry and provides for additional grounds for asylum ineligibility. A credible fear of persecution is redefined to mean that it is more likely than not that the alien would be able to establish eligibility for asylum. This bill is in the first stages of the legislative process and stands a 3% chance of passing.
Work to pave a path to citizenship for those who have been in the country for an extended period of time and built their lives in the United StatesEnsuring that law-abiding individuals with
Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Enforced Departure are not sent back to countries where
they cannot live safely
We have an immigration system that embodies our values.H.R. 6: American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 provides certain aliens with a path to receive permanent resident status and contains other immigration-related provisions. This bill passed in the House and goes to the Senate next. It stands a 3% chance of passing.

S. 264: Dream Act of 2021 has the same purpose and chance of passing.
Hold employers accountable, promote workers’ rights, and prioritize the enforcement of labor and employment laws across the economySupporting the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights and the Protect Our Workers from Exploitation and
Retaliation (POWER) Act.
We prevent employers from taking advantage of immigrant workers.H.R. 4826: Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act provides rights and protections for domestic workers (e.g., housekeepers, nannies, caretakers, personal assistants, and chauffeurs), including pay and leave rights, and health and safety protections. This bill is in the first stages of the legislative process and stands a 3% chance of passing.
Ending workplace and community raids;

Prohibiting enforcement actions that deter access to justice at courthouses;

Ending programs that force state and local law enforcement to also be responsible for immigration enforcement;

Stopping targeting men and women who served in uniform and their families.
Enforcement mechanisms are humane and consistent with our values and international humanitarian obligations.H.R. 1573: Access to Counsel Act of 2021ensures that a covered individual subject to secondary or deferred inspection has a meaningful opportunity to consult with counsel and certain related parties, such as a relative, within an hour of the start of the secondary inspection and as necessary during the inspection process. This bill passed in the House and now goes to the Senate. It stands a 3% chance of passing.

S. 1912: Access to Counsel Act of 2021 has the same purpose and chance of passing as H.R. 1573.
Build a 21st-century immigration system.Prioritizing investments in more effective and cost-efficient community-based alternatives to detention;

Ending for-profit detention centers;

Ensuring that any facility where migrants are being detained is held to the highest standards of care and guarantees their safety and dignity;

Restricting detention of children to the shortest possible time, with their access to education and proper care ensured.

Detention is a last resort, not the default.
H.R. 6795: Short-Term Detention Standards Act requires U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to make every effort to ensure that apprehended individuals are given access to appropriate temporary shelter, bathrooms and shower facilities, water, appropriate nutrition, hygiene, personal grooming items, and sanitation needs. Currently, CBP is only required to make every effort to provide food and water. This bill has not gone to committee yet. It stands a 4% chance of passing.

S. 1514: Border Transportation Efficiency Act establishes a program to expedite detainee transport to processing facilities. This bill is in the first stages of consideration. It stands a 3% chance of passing.
Build a 21st-century immigration system. Implementing robust mechanisms for oversight, accountability, and transparency.Immigration agencies abide by our values, the U.S. Constitution, and international law.S. 3720: H–1B and L–1 Visa Reform Act of 2022 amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to reform and reduce fraud and abuse in certain visa programs for aliens working temporarily in the United States, and for other purposes. This bill is in the first stages and has not been sent to committee yet. It stands a 4% chance of passing. (Similar language is in other bills.)

H.R. 2321: Border Surge Response and Resilience Act requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop a plan for responding to irregular increases in migration at the border that present risks to border security. This bill is in the first stages and has not been sent to committee yet. It stands a 3% chance of passing.

H.R. 7257: Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act imposes requirements and standards related to the care of aliens in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody. This bill is in the first stages and has not been sent to committee yet. It stands a 3% chance of passing.

S. 4529: Children’s Safe Welcome Act of 2022 provides protections for children in immigration custody, and for other purposes. This bill is in the first stages and has not been sent to committee yet. It stands a 3% chance of passing.
Support steps to make immigration courts more independent.
Demanding that leaders of our immigration agencies are Senate-confirmed professionals;

Holding personnel accountable for inappropriate, unlawful, or inhumane treatment.
We have immigration judges that operate free of inappropriate political influence;

 Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection personnel abide by our values;

We have evidence-based standards.
H.R. 6577: Real Courts, Rule of Law Act of 2022 establishes the U.S. Immigration Courts, a system of courts to be independent of the executive branch. The bill also transfers all functions of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) to the Immigration Courts, with some exceptions. This bill left commitee for consideration by the House or Senate. It stands a 4% chance of passing. (The contents may also be included in other bills)

H.Res. 575: Supporting an efficient legal immigration system and reducing case processing delays calls upon U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to reduce and ultimately end processing delays while ensuring reliable, thorough, and fair adjudications without imposing unwarranted fees.
Strengthen our democracy and guarantee America’s long-term economic competitiveness.Improving and increasing opportunities for legal, permanent immigration;

Awarding visas for permanent, employment-based immigration in a way that is responsive to labor market needs;
Recover from the worst economic iris since the Great Depression.S. 3157: Bridging the Gap for New Americans Act will to conduct a study of the factors affecting employment opportunities for immigrants and refugees with professional credentials obtained in foreign countries. It has passed in the Senate and will be heard next in the House.

H.R. 2920: American Families United Act allows DOJ or DHS to exercise discretion by declining to remove an alien or bar an alien from entering the United States to prevent hardship for the alien’s U.S. citizen spouse, parent, or child. However, DOJ or DHS may not exercise this discretion if the alien is removable or inadmissible due to certain grounds, including specified crime- and security-related grounds. This bill has a 21% chance of passing.

H.R. 1603: Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021. This bill provides a pathway for farm workers and their dependants to stay in the country for 5.5 years, with provisions to extend the certification. The bill has passed in the House and goes to the Senate next. It stands a 3% chance of passing.
Attract and keep talent in this country.
 
Ending the Trump Administration’s freeze on green
cards for new immigrants;

Pursuing a meaningful reform agenda.
Recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.The Biden administration restored the immigration cap to 125,000.
 
Support policies and programs to make it easier for qualified immigrants and their  families to become full and equal citizens.Increasing funding for culturally appropriate immigrant inclusion and citizenship services, legal support, English classes and bilingual education, workforce development, and adult education.??H.R. 6715: Bridging the Gap for New Americans Act equires the Department of Labor to submit to Congress a study on the factors affecting employment opportunities for certain individuals with professional credentials obtained in a non-U.S. country, specifically individuals who are lawfully present noncitizens or naturalized U.S. citizens. This bill is in the initial stage of legislation. It stands a 3% chance of passing.

H.R. 4681: LIKE Act amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to establish a new class of nonimmigrant visas for entrepreneurs and essential employees affiliated with start-up entities, and for other purposes.

H.R. 3149: HEAL for Immigrant Families Act of 2021
eliminated the five-year wait for immigrants to enroll in Medicaid and CHIP. It would also let undocumented immigrants enroll in the healthcare exchanges established by Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act. his bill is in the initial stage of legislation. It stands a 3% chance of passing.
Address the root causes of migration—violence and insecurity, poverty, pervasive corruption, lack of educational and economic opportunity, and the impacts of climate change. Implementing well-designed assistance programs.We help prevent and mitigate the effects of migration crises around the world.I found no specific bill for this purpose. It’s possible that the requirements are in another bill.

Support a comprehensive strategy  with the support of the international community;

Renew American diplomacy as our
tool of first resort.
Rebuilding our partnerships and alliances.We strengthen security and prosperity in partnership with the people of Central America and the Caribbean;

We lead the global humanitarian response.
H.R. 2571: AMIGOS Act makes Portuguese nationals eligible for E-1 and E-2 nonimmigrant visas if the government of Portugal provides similar nonimmigrant status to U.S. nationals. The bill also imposes additional requirements on such visas. This bill passed in the House and now goes to the Senate. It stands a 4% chance of passing. (Other bills contain similar language.)

What do you think?  Was this enlightening?

Oh my Lord. There are 531 immigration bills somewhere in the system. My head is spinning. One immigration law was passed and two were approved as part of another bill. However none of these three were part of the Democratic platform. This might be the hottest hot button in Congress where almost nothing is done.

It’s a wonder anyone can sort through all the facts. Still, I wish all our news reporter would spend more energy dicing through who’s doing what and what’s not getting done. That’s perhaps more important than some of the things we do see on the news every day.

Next up: Education

If you missed my prior State of the Union 2022 reviews, here are the links:

State of the Union 2022: Leadership

State of the Union 2022: Democracy

State of the Union 2022: Criminal Justice

State of the Union 2022: The Pandemic

State of the Union 2022: It’s The Economy

State of the Union 2022: Healthcare

State of the Union 2022: The Environment

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