Welcome to the Garfinkel Immigration news roundup, where every month we will summarize and provide links to the latest stories impacting U.S. immigration.
Below is the December 2021 edition of the Garfinkel Immigration news roundup:
United States updates COVID-19 testing requirement for all inbound international air travelers
The United States has revised the COVID-19 testing requirement for all travelers entering or returning to the country.
All international air travelers two years of age and older will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within one day of their departure to the United States, regardless of their vaccination status. The new requirement took effect on Monday, Dec. 6 at 12:01 a.m. ET, and applies to all U.S. citizens, permanent residents, noncitizens and foreign nationals.
Alternatively, passengers can provide proof of recent recovery from COVID-19 instead of a negative test if their positive COVID-19 test result was received no more than 90 days before their flight’s departure and they have a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or public health official with permission to travel.
The most inspiring immigration stories of 2021
In this piece, Forbes Senior Contributor Stuart Anderson lists some of the most inspiring immigration stories of 2021.
The article highlights the feats of multiple MLB and NBA stars; those who “welcomed thousands of Afghans fleeing the Taliban;” the brilliance of inventors and engineers; and much more.
“The year 2021 saw many immigrants who made memorable contributions to America,” Anderson writes. “America is a better place because … (these) and other immigrants were allowed to pursue the American Dream.”
Immigration groups merge
A pair of high-profile immigration groups merged earlier this month.
The New American Economy and the American Immigration Council combined “in part, to prepare for a potential Republican takeover of Congress,” according to an article published by Axios in early December.
The combined organization will be named the American Immigration Council.
“Members hope the combined resources help the teams better expand and protect the rights of immigrants, more fully ensure immigrants’ ability to succeed economically, and help make the communities they settle in more welcoming,” the story from Axios reads.
Senate parliamentarian rejects Democrats’ third attempt to include immigration in economic bill
The Senate parliamentarian has once again rejected the Democrats’ plan to include immigration measures in the bill they will attempt to pass through reconciliation, a process which only requires a simple majority as opposed to the standard 60 vote threshold.
The fate of the immigration provisions, as well as the bill (entitled the Build Back Better Act) in its entirety, remains unclear.
“The group of senators who worked on the arguments to the parliamentarian said in a statement Thursday they ‘strongly disagree with the Senate parliamentarian’s interpretation of our immigration proposal, and we will pursue every means to achieve a path to citizenship in the Build Back Better Act,’” a story from CNN reads.
Share of U.S. immigrant population drops for first time in 10 years
The share of foreign-born citizens and residents in the U.S. has dropped for the first time in more than 10 years, according to a recent article published by Axios, which analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
“While the decline coincides with the spread of COVID-19, a country with an aging population like that found in the United States needs strong levels of immigration to support economic growth,” the story reads. “More immediately, immigrants could help fill the millions of job openings in the U.S.”