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Weekly Immigration News Roundup: October 21, 2022 (Archive)

Jonathan Petts
October 21, 2022

Key Takeaways

This has been a busy week in immigration news, and thankfully some of it is positive. The United States government wants to fast-track applications for Afghan asylees who helped U.S. troops, a senior living facility explains why immigration is important to the country’s economy, and the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of four nonprofits who want the right to provide legal counsel to their immigrant detainee clients for free.

Table of Contents

The Number of Venezuelans at the U.S.-Mexico Border Is Increasing

According to CBS, roughly 6.8 million Venezuelans have left their home country since 2014. Most went to neighboring Latin American countries, but many have made their way to the United States. Venezuela is currently undergoing an economic crisis and was facing food and medication shortages prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Political repression from President Nicolás Maduro’s policies have also forced many to flee the country.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data, more people of “other” nationalities are reaching the U.S.-Mexico border than Mexicans. Venezuelans and Haitians are driving these rising numbers. The latest disaggregated data shows that up to 56,148 migrants from Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba have had encounters with CBP since October 2019

Florida Governor DeSantis Hit With Lawsuit From Migrants Flown to Martha’s Vineyard 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made headlines when he flew Venezuela migrants from Florida to Martha’s Vineyard. However, a group of migrants have filed a class-action lawsuit against Gov. DeSantis and other officials involved in the coordination of these flights.

The migrants involved in the lawsuit allege that they boarded these planes because officials reached out to them with fraudulent claims. Some of the alleged deceptive promises made to migrants, according to the suit, include: the promise of housing, jobs, and assistance. It wasn’t clear to migrants that none of these things would come to pass until they arrived at Martha's Vineyard. 

One of the Largest Senior Living Media Brands Explains Why Immigration Is Necessary

McKnights Senior Living, one of the nation’s largest senior living media brands, explains that immigration reform is necessary if the United States is to address potential aging care worker shortages in the future.  

In 2018, the Health Resources and Service Administration projected that there would be an estimated home health aide shortage of 3.4 million people. Per the Migration Policy Institute, roughly 314,000 refugees were working in the healthcare sector in 2018.

McKnights Senior Living explains that many immigration caps used today were set in 1954 and these don’t allow for meeting current labor needs in the United States. Last year, McKnights Senior Living advocated for the creation of a new visa for immigrants who want to work in the senior living sector. 

USCIS Reaches Settlement on the EB-5 Reform & Integrity Act of 2022 

In 1990, the U.S. government created the EB-5 program to stimulate investment and job creation from foreign nationals who met certain requirements. In March 2022, the USCIS announced the deauthorization of regional centers that process EB-5 applications.As a result, various industry groups, such as real estate developers, trade associations, and privately run regional centers filed lawsuits against USCIS.

The regional centers were reauthorized after USCIS reached a settlement with the plaintiffs.. This means they will be able to process EB-5 applications again.

Applying for an EB-5 or other employment-based green card can be complicated. If you need help with your application, our nonprofit can refer you to a lawyer for a free consultation to help you with your application.

ACLU Alleges That ICE Is Preventing Immigration Detainees From Talking to Lawyers

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit in Washington, DC on behalf of five immigrant advocacy groups in Washington, DC, and four states: Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida. According to the suit, the U.S. Immigrations Customs Enforcement (ICE) has prevented these groups from being able to counsel their clients. 

The five plaintiffs allege that ICE isn’t providing adequate meeting spaces or allowing lawyers to use video chat to talk to detainees. They also allege that ICE is making it difficult for these organizations to speak with detainees over the phone or leave messages. 

Groups represented in the lawsuit include Immigration Justice Campaign and Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. The groups hope to secure confidential video chat and in-person meetings with their clients so they can provide free services.

Justice Department Settles With Maryland-Based Company Accused of Immigration-Related Discriminatory Practices 

On Oct. 13, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) settled with a Maryland-based company, Professional Maintenance Management (PMM) that violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). PMM specifically discriminated against legal permanent residents by asking them to show only their green card, while people with other immigrant statuses were asked to show only their employment authorization document (EAD), or work permit. U.S. citizens were allowed to choose from the list of documents as required by law.

INA allows immigrants to choose from an approved list of government-issued documents to verify their identity with employers. Employers aren’t allowed to ask for a specific type of document. 

PMM will pay a $300,000 fine to the DOJ, undergo anti-discrimination training, and will be monitored for three years.

The White House Wants To Speed Up Immigration Processes For Afghan Nationals Who Helped U.S. Troops

Many Afghani nationals helped U.S. troops during the war in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2021. Several made it to the United States and remain in the country under humanitarian parole, but are currently waiting for their Special Immigrant Status. Immigration resettlement organizations around the country are still helping Afghan arrivals deal with the delay-ridden immigration system.

The White House recently announced changes that will speed up visa applications for Afghani nationals who are currently waiting for them. However, the White House has been criticized for the way it plans to execute the program — by temporarily suspending the acceptance of new humanitarian parole applications. For now, the Afghan Adjustment Act — a law that would provide green cards for Afghani nationals — has been introduced to the House of Representatives and has 129 co-sponsors. 

Applying for Special Immigration Status often requires legal help. Our nonprofit can refer you for a free consultation with an immigration attorney if you need help with your case.

This Week in Pop Culture

Immigrants have a rich history of contributing to this country’s culture, including its entertainment, news, and literary industries. Obtaining a legal immigration status also unlocks other cultural issues that must be dealt with. Here are some interesting reads this week. 

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