Green Card Numbers Back To Pre-COVID Levels
According to a new report from the Pew Research Center, the number of new green cards granted to new immigrants last year is back up to pre-COVID levels.
About 282,000 people were able to get green cards between June and September last year, marking the highest number since the middle of 2017. For context, in 2020, green card numbers plummeted to 79,000.
Also of note, the report showed that the number of green cards issued to immigrants from within the U.S. had rebounded to pre-COVID levels, but the number of green cards issued to people applying from abroad still has a ways to go.
Immigrant Efforts Drive Amazon Unionization in Staten Island
Immigrants were pivotal in the unionization efforts at Amazon late last week. Nearly 50% of the workforce at Amazon’s JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island, New York are immigrants.
Despite risks involved, many immigrants were active participants in the campaign to unionize, distributing bilingual flyers, creating language-specific WhatsApp groups, and spreading awareness for the campaign by word-of-mouth.
CDC Approves Lift of Title 42
The CDC confirmed it will lift Title 42, a public health order that gave border officials the authority to immediately expel migrants at the border – including asylum seekers. Of the decision, the CDC said Covid-19 “has ceased to be a serious danger to public health.” The policy change will go into effect on May 23.
USCIS to Waive Interviews for Certain Conditional Residents
USCIS announced this week that it will allow immigration officers to use their discretion in waiving removal of conditions interviews for family-based immigrants with conditional green cards.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) mandates that conditional residents are interviewed when USCIS is deciding whether to approve a couple’s removal of conditions petition. It gives USCIS authorization to waive certain interviews. In 2018, the Trump administration barred officers from using their own judgment in these cases. The updated policy rolls back the 2018 guidance, and restores interview waiver discretion to USCIS adjudicators.
Biden Administration Tells ICE Attorneys to Drop Low-Priority Cases
The Biden administration this week directed ICE to close or dismiss what could be hundreds of thousands of low-priority cases currently pending in the U.S. immigration court system. Cases that involve a public safety or national security threat, as well as cases that involve people who recently crossed the border without documentation will stay in the courts. Instances where the immigrant has resided in the U.S. for more than two weeks and hasn’t committed a crime making them deportable will be eligible to have their cases dismissed.