It’s been an eventful few weeks for US immigration policy. The new government administration wasted no time in passing executive orders to undo much of the work of the last 4 years under the previous administration. With so many changes happening in such a short period of time, it can be hard to keep up with what laws apply that didn’t before, and how the situation has changed for those who are seeking a life here in the US. In this blog post, we’ll give you a quick run-down of all the important updates in US immigration law that have taken place recently.
DACA Is Back
As we cover this subject in another recent blog post, there’s no need to go into great detail about this one. One of the first executive orders that the new administration brought in was to preserve and strengthen the DACA (Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals) initiative. This will offer thousands of undocumented immigrants who first came to the US as children the right to remain and work for the time being.
New Pathways for Undocumented Foreign Nationals
As part of their new 8-year plan, the new administration hopes to make it easier for undocumented foreign nationals that were already in the US before January 1st, 2021 to apply for temporary legal status. Once these temporary residents have held their temporary residency status for 5 years, they will then be able to apply for permanent residency. Three years after that, they will be eligible to apply for citizenship. Under these proposals, all eligible applicants will need to pass security and criminal background checks as well as citizenship tests should they want to attain full citizenship.
Reform to Employment-Based Immigration
There has been a backlog of employment-based immigrant visas for years but the new administration hopes to clear this by reducing processing time and abolishing per-country immigrant caps and lifting the ban on immigration from certain countries. The hope is that this system will enable the US to allow immigration from a wider pool of countries where talented and skilled workers can be obtained.
Reforms to Family-Based Immigration
Much like the reforms to employment-based immigration, the new administration hopes to clear the backlog of family-based immigration applications. They plan to do this by recapturing unused visas from previous years and by increasing the per-country visa cap. Additionally, LGBTQ+ petitioners would also be able to sponsor family members.
There are several other changes that the new administration will be implementing, including removing the term “alien” from all immigration laws and replacing it with “noncitizen”. They also hope to increase the number of available green cards in the Diversity Lottery Visa Program to 80,000, increase the amount of smart technology used in immigration enforcement, and fund a new agency to deal with the causes of migration from Central America. By using smart technology and dealing with the causes of poverty and displacement that drive people to seek refuge in the US, the new administration hopes to lower the number of people seeking to enter the US at their source.
There are lots of changes currently taking place when it comes to immigration reform, so it’s a good idea to keep up to date as more changes will be taking place in the coming months. With so many reforms planned, you may be presented with new opportunities if you are a foreign national looking to remain or move to the US. Ensure you get ahead of the rest by hiring the services of an accomplished immigration lawyer. Here at Voloshen Law Firm, our experienced, highly qualified, and friendly lawyers know the world of US immigration like the back of their hands. So, make sure you give us a call: (215) 437-7854 to find out how we can help you in your quest to set up a life in the US.