Afghan Diplomats in Limbo After U.S. Embassy Closes
The U.S. State Department announced this week that it is closing the Afghan Embassy in the U.S. If Afghan diplomats in the U.S. want to stay, they have one month to apply for permanent residency or Temporary Protected Status, before risking deportation. State Department officials reported that at least a quarter of the embassy’s diplomats had not yet applied for visas.
ICE Deportations, Arrests See Sharp Drop Under Biden
According to a new report from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), deportations and arrests dropped significantly last year, to the lowest level in agency history.
At the end of fiscal year 2021 (Sept. 30), ICE reported a 68% decrease in arrests from 2020. According to the report, the drop was largely the result of Title 42, a Trump-era, pandemic-related order that allows ICE agents to expel people trying to cross the border immediately vs. processing them.
U.S. Dept of State Suspends Consular Services at U.S. Embassy in Kyiv
Boundless dug into the current status of U.S. visa services by country — and not much changed from February to March. One notable exception: the Department of State has suspended consular services in the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Consulate General in Frankfurt will serve as the primary processing location for Ukrainians for the time being, and those applying for an IR-3 or IR-4 adoption visa or A or G visas should submit applications to the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw.
No Significant Movement In The Green Card Backlog This Month
Troubling news this week from the NVC monthly backlog report – the U.S. Department of State has yet to meaningfully increase the number of monthly interviews. Because of this, the backlog is only decreasing incrementally. There were roughly 436,700 pending interviews in March vs. 436,666 in February. The total number of scheduled green card interviews went up about 18% in March, which is better than the 3% increase we saw in January, but isn’t significant enough to make a real dent in the backlog. At this rate, Boundless predicts the backlog will be a challenge indefinitely and it could take years to get back to pre-COVID levels.