On September 09, 2021, the senate parliamentarian (Elizabeth MacDonough) heard arguments on a plan by Democrats to include immigration provisions in a budget reconciliation bill FY 2022. If passed the immigration provisions would allow certain undocumented immigrants to apply for permanent residence, and permit thousands of family and employment based green card applicants to immediately apply for a green card rather than wait until one becomes available (priority dates become current). The decision on whether to include these provisions in the budget reconciliations will be her decision.
These new legalization provisions would not go into effect until 6 months after they are passed or on May 1, 2022, “whichever is earliest,” according to the proposal. The provisions would expire on September 30, 2031.
Please find below a brief summary of the House Judiciary Committee’s Immigration Proposals:
- Certain people without legal status can apply for a green card after paying a $1,500 fee and passing background and medical checks.
- ForDeferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to qualify, they must have:
- Arrived in the United States of America before they were 18 and continuously lived in the country since then.
- Been continuously present in the United States of America since January 1, 2021.
They also must either have:
- Served honorably in the Uniformed Services.
- Graduated from or be enrolled in a college or a postsecondary vocational school.
- Earned a “consistent earned income in the United States” for the three years before applying.
Also, they do not need to currently be enrolled in the program to be eligible.
- For those in the country underTemporary Protected Status (TPS) qualify if they:
- Have been in the United States of America for three or more years.
- Had TPS or have been eligible for TPS on January 1, 2017; and
- “Have not engaged in conduct” that would make them ineligible for TPS.
- For Deferred Enforced Departure(DED) recipients qualify if they:
- Have been in the United States for three or more years.
- Were eligible for DED as of January 20, 2021.
- “Have not engaged in conduct” that would make them ineligible for DED.
- For Essential workerswould also be permitted to apply for permanent residence.
To qualify, they must:
- Have been in the United States of America continuously since January 1, 2021.
- Show a consistent record of earned income as an essential worker under DHS’s definitions.
- Anyone in the United States of America (and their spouse and children) who is the beneficiary of an approved visa petition under INA 204(a)(1) could pay $1,500 and file an adjustment application.
- A family-based green card applicant whosepriority date is more than 2 years old could apply to adjust their status by paying a $2,500 fee.
- Employment-based green card applicants with a priority date that is more than 2 years old could also apply to adjust their status by paying a $5,000 fee.
- Anyone who is the beneficiary of an approved visa petition under INA(a)(1)(H) (which is EB-5 visas), who have a priority date at least two years old, and who pay a supplemental fee of $50,000, would be able to apply for adjustment.
- The proposal also proposes for recapture of unused EB visas since 1992 to 2021, in total 226,000 visa’s and then would establish going forward that any unused EB visa gets added to visa pool the next year.
- All DV 2017-2021 winners who were unable to get a visa because of either (1) the Muslim/Travel bans or (2) COVID restrictions or “other effects” of the pandemic, would become eligible for a visa again.
- All family-based immigrant visa petitions would have a supplemental fee of an additional $100, along with an additional $800 for employment-based immigrant visa petitions and an additional $15,000 for EB-5 petitions.
- Grounds of Ineligibility:
- Anyone who is statutorily inadmissible for a wide variety of reasons, including criminal history-related grounds. Also, no persecutors.
- Anyone who has ever been convicted of anyone (1) offense punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of more than 1 year; or 2) Three (3) or more different criminal convictions and sentences of 90 days or higher.
- Waivers are possible for some prior criminal convictions, such as, when in the public interest or for humanitarian or family unity purposes. Also, an expunged conviction is not *automatically* a conviction for immigration purposes.
We will regularly update the blog as soon as any new information is available.
This article aims to provide new information concerning house judiciary committee’s immigration proposals. This article, under no circumstances, acts as legal advice; therefore, for any immigration questions, please contact your Attorney or the Ahluwalia Law Offices, P.C. (Team ALO).