Weekly Immigration News Roundup: October 28, 2022 (Archive)

In a Nutshell

This week DHS announced that Ethiopians will be able to apply for temporary protected status (TPS). Also, USCIS says certain CW-1 petitions will be considered on time and Venezuelans will be able to take advantage of a new process so they can enter the U.S. Finally, Cubans detained in Florida will be released, and a new study reveals that immigrants help alleviate tax burdens in the U.S. Let’s dive in!

Ethiopians To Be Protected From Deportation if They Meet Requirements

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that Ethiopians who arrived in the U.S. on or before Oct. 20, 2022, will soon be able to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), according to CBS News. 

Secretary Mayorkas cited ongoing military conflict in the Tigray region as he made this announcement. An estimated 26,700 Ethiopians will benefit from TPS and will be able to stay in the U.S. legally for 18 months. 

USCIS To Consider Certain Late CW-1 Petitions as Filed On Time

The CW-1 visa allows employers from the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to hire workers who don’t qualify for other nonimmigrant visas. Employers must go through the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and be approved for a temporary labor certification after considering available U.S. workers for the same jobs.

On Oct. 18, 2022, USCIS announced that CW-1 petitions would be considered on time even if they were received after the expiration of a worker’s petition validity period. USCIS granted the extension because of processing delays at the DOL.

USCIS Announces New Process for Venezuelan Migrants

Venezuelan migrants continue to face challenges in their quest for a safe route to the United States. Their numbers at the U.S.-Mexico border have steadily increased, and several Venezuelans have sued Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for flying Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard by allegedly luring them with promises of work, housing, food, and money. Given the ongoing challenges Venezuelans face in their home country, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new parole process for Venezuelans on Oct. 18, 2022. 

The U.S. government wants to discourage the dangerous journey many Venezuelans make through Mexico and other parts of the Americas by land and is working with the government of Mexico. In turn, Venezuelans are being offered the following alternative:

  • U.S. supporters (sponsors) who meet Department of Homeland Security (DHS)criteria can apply for legal entry for a Venezuelan and pledge financial assistance and housing during the Venezuelan national’s parole.

  • Venezuelans must also meet DHS criteria and must be granted authorization to travel to the U.S.

  • Any Venezuelan national who has gotten a removal notice within the past five years won’t be eligible for this new parole.

  • If approved, parole will last for two years, and Venezuelan nationals must fly to an approved port of entry with their own funds. 

ICE Releases Some Cuban Migrants From Florida 

The wet-foot dry-foot policy for Cubans ended in 2017. After this change in policy, Cubans were no longer exempt from immigration laws that allowed them to remain in the United States legally. If caught entering the U.S., Cubans were to be processed and — with few exceptions — removed from the United States. Cubans who were eligible for deportation were only able to stay in the U.S. because Cuba stopped accepting deportees at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to the Miami-Herald, several detained Cubans were arrested and taken to the Broward Transitional Center, a Pompano Beach-based Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center. Some were there for up to two years before being released from detention at the beginning of President Biden’s term. The U.S. government issued Social Security numbers and work permits to many of the released detainees because Cuba didn’t accept them back into the country.

However, DHS subsequently detained several of these Cuban migrants a second time, causing confusion. They were all eventually released or had been provided with release papers at the time that Miami Herald did its reporting. These detentions got the attention of public figures such as House Candidate Annette Taddeo.

At the moment, the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba is currently only offering a limited number of nonimmigrant visas. Full visa processing is set to resume in Cuba in January 2023.    

Paper Highlights Immigrants’ Tax-Time Financial Contributions to the U.S.

Michael Clemens — economics professor at George Mason University and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development economics — wrote a paper that highlights the economic contributions of all immigrants to the U.S. The paper is notable for including the contributions of immigrants who don’t have a high school degree.

Immigrants with high-paying jobs were once thought to be the most beneficial contributors to the United States economy. Clemens’ paper looks at the tax revenue immigrants generate as a result of their presence in the country and found that they generate “a positive fiscal balance of $128,000.” In other words, all immigrants who pay taxes contribute positively to the USA’s bottom line. 

This Week in Pop Culture 

  • Black Adam, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson had a stellar opening. The film also stars Mo Amer, a Houston-based standup comedian who talks about what it was like to grow up in the U.S. as a refugee.

  • Marjane Satrapi, author of Persepolis, lived through the Iranian Revolution. In the world-famous graphic novel and film, Satrapi chronicles the events that led to mass migration out of Iran. The first 44 pages of Persepolis were put up for auction on Oct. 25 at Sotheby’s in London. Satrapi’s seminal work has found new relevance as Iran continues to see protests over the unjust death of Mahsa Amini.   

  • President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris celebrated Diwali this year, continuing a tradition that began in 2003 during President George W. Bush’s Administration.