January 2023 Newsletter: Immigration News

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2023!

DHS grants relief to undocumented workers

At the top of our news this month is the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) about new guidelines that grant relief to undocumented workers for workplace violations. What this means is that noncitizen workers who are victims of, or witnesses to, the violation of labor rights, can now access a streamlined and expedited deferred action request process — instead of worrying about retaliation from their employer. This is a very important new development, as many noncitizens may feel like their legal status in the United States is effectively controlled by their employer.

Public Charge final rule went into effect

In other news, on December 23rd, DHS’s Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility final rule went into effect, restoring the historical understanding of a “public charge”. This traditional understanding had been in place for decades before the previous administration began to consider supplemental public health benefits such as Medicaid and nutritional assistance as part of the public charge inadmissibility determination. This is great news for all immigrants, who can now take advantage of some regular public services without fear about their immigration status!

USCIS may be considering to increase some application fees

Finally, we wanted to alert you that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is considering increasing some of its application fees in an attempt to secure more funding (currently, 96% of the agency’s budget comes from filing fees). To read the proposal and have a chance to comment, click here.

Have a question about immigration policy or something pertaining to your own personal case? Reach out to me to discuss!