Some exciting developments are in motion this month, as the Biden administration attempts to implement its version of immigration reform.
USCIS Extends Flexibility for Responding to Agency Requests
First off, late last month, USCIS extended some flexibilities it had implemented in spring of 2020 to help applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic. These flexibilities have now been extended through January 2022; for a list of them, visit the USCIS COVID-19 page.
On the DACA front, two important things happened this month. First, the Biden administration has appealed a federal court ruling from this summer that allowed the program to continue but blocked all new applicants. Additionally, the administration announced that it will attempt to recreate DACA as a formal policy — thereby solving many of the grounds Republicans have for fighting the program. Both of these measures are really just backups, as DACA reform and a path to citizenship for participants is included in the Democrats’ $3.5 billion spending plan in Congress.
Biden Administration’s New Rules for Deportation
Finally, and perhaps most notably, the Biden administration issued new guidelines for deportation of illegal immigrants, effectively saying that a person should not be deported solely for being undocumented in the United States. These guidelines will go into effect at the end of November. Instead, the Department of Homeland Security will be focusing on pursuing undocumented immigrants who are also a threat to national security.
As always, stay tuned to our blog and newsletters for the latest in immigration news and analysis!