The fourth quarter brings with it an array of immigration news. A few things in this week's bulletin: changes in wait times for Mexican nationals applying for family-sponsored green cards, a legal challenge to visa retrogression laws, a timeline on what to expect from DACA as litigation continues, and why Anna “Delvey” Sorokin’s house arrest matters to immigration advocates.
Slight Decrease in Wait Times for Mexican Nationals Applying for Family-Sponsored Green Cards
The visa application process can be daunting and is often full of delays. However, USCIS recently announced updated deadlines for family-sponsored and employment visas in its November 2022 Visa Bulletin. Though many deadlines were unchanged, Mexican nationals can expect a slight decrease in wait times for family-sponsored green cards in several categories.
- The cut-off date for green cards for first preference (F1) family green card applicants from Mexico decreased by one year from Dec. 1, 2001, in the October Visa Bulletin to Dec. 1, 2002, in the November Visa Bulletin. F1 applicants are unmarried children of U.S. citizens (F1) who are at least 21 years old.
- The cut-off date for second preference (F2B) family green card applicants from Mexico decreased by almost five months. The October 2022 cut-off date was Aug. 8, 2001, and that moved up to Jan. 1, 2002, in the November 2022 Visa Bulletin. The F2B category includes unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. permanent residents.
- The cut-off date for green cards for third preference (F3) family green card applicants from Mexico decreased by about two months. The new cut-off date is June 15, 2001. The F3 category includes married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
- Finally, the cut-off date for green card filing for fourth preference (F4) family green card applicants from Mexico decreased by 17 days. The new cut-off date for F4 applicants — brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens — is now April 1, 2001.
People whose priority date is prior to the dates mentioned above can submit their green card applications for the categories mentioned.
Wondering if you’re eligible to apply for your green card now? Our nonprofit’s free tool can tell you if you’re eligible. Or we can refer you to a trusted immigration attorney for a free consultation to get peace of mind about your application.
Green Card Hopefuls Challenge Visa Retrogression That Leaves Them in ‘Legal Limbo’
Congress sets limits on the number of immigrant visas that USCIS can grant each year. From there, holders of certain visas can check the USCIS monthly Visa Bulletin for next steps, such as searching for cut-off dates that may allow them to apply for legal permanent residency.
Visa retrogression happens when more people are applying for visas than the number of visas available. This means cut-off dates change so that USCIS can process older cases. Newer cases aren’t processed until USCIS catches up on older cases. Understandably this can cause delays that interrupt the lives of people who come from countries where demand for U.S. green cards is high.
That’s why Indian nationals are working to end this policy by suing USCIS in Datta et al. v Jaddou. They argue that USCIS’s policy leaves their applications in “legal limbo” once these delays are announced. The case is ongoing, but their initial motion was denied.
DACA Litigation: What To Expect
On Oct. 5, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court affirmed a lower court’s ruling that prevents USCIS from processing first-time DACA applications. USCIS will continue to process renewals for people who currently have DACA status under the new final rule that goes into effect on Oct. 31, 2022.
According to The Guardian, we can expect DACA to go back to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) for the third time. This is the expected timeline:
- The case will be sent to U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who originally declared DACA illegal, so he can take a look at the program with its new final rule.
- Depending on what Hanen says, the case may go to SCOTUS for a third time. The Supreme Court voted 4-4 on DACA’s legality in 2016, which allowed the program to remain. In 2020, SCOTUS once again ruled to keep DACA after ruling against then-President Trump’s efforts to suddenly end the program.
DACA’s final rule means that recipients must prove they have been in the U.S. since at least June 2007. DACA recipients will still be able to apply for Advance Parole, which allows travel outside of the U.S. under approved circumstances.
Why Anna ‘Delvey’ Sorokin’s House Arrest Matters
Anna “Delvey” Sorokin became famous after Jessica Pressler revealed the motivations and extent of Sorokin’s crimes in New York Magazine. At the time she was charged, most of the attention was on Sorokin’s financial fraud and her adventures with New York’s rich and elite. However, Sorokin isn’t originally from the United States and was in the country on a visa.
In 2019, Sorokin was found guilty of grand larceny, among other charges. She was sentenced to 4–12 years and sent to Albion Correctional Facility. Sorokin has been out of jail since February 2021, but she overstayed her visa and was taken into Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, then to Orange County Correctional Facility. Sorokin was released on Oct. 7, 2022.
Sorokin is currently fighting to stay in New York City and is a plaintiff in an ACLU lawsuit against ICE. In the suit, Sorokin alleges that ICE denied her requests to get a COVID-19 booster shot. Others under ICE custody are also named in the suit. In the meantime, Sorokin still faces deportation and has been able to benefit from interest in her story. Sorokin has been released into house arrest since Oct. 7, 2022, and her case is ongoing.