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 May 2022 edition of the Garfinkel Immigration news roundup:
USCIS increases automatic work authorization extension length for certain EAD renewal applicants
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a key update that will benefit certain Employment Authorization Document (EAD) holders.
The organization said it was implementing a temporary final rule that will increase the length of automatic extensions of employment authorization for certain EAD renewal applicants to as many as 540 days. The change went into effect May 4, 2022.
Prior to the implementation of this temporary rule, certain EAD applicants were eligible for an automatic extension of their EAD for up to only 180 days past their EAD expiration, if they timely filed their EAD renewal application and met all other eligibility requirements. However, recent excessive delays at USCIS service centers — some of which post current processing times between 18.5 and 22 months — have resulted in lapses in work authorization. The new temporary rule will help alleviate such lapses by extending the automatic work authorization from 180 days to up to 540 days.
Less immigrant labor in US contributing to price hikes
This piece published by the Associated Press examines the relationship between a decrease in immigration and rising prices in some sectors.
“After immigration to the United States tapered off during the Trump administration — then ground to a near complete halt for 18 months during the coronavirus pandemic — the country is waking up to a labor shortage partly fueled by that slowdown,” the story read.
The story continued: “The U.S. has, by some estimates, 2 million fewer immigrants than it would have if the pace had stayed the same, helping power a desperate scramble for workers in many sectors, from meatpacking to homebuilding, that is also contributing to supply shortages and price increases.”
Democrats renew push for green cards for ‘documented Dreamers’
The Democrats in the Senate continue to search for a way to protect “documented Dreamers” via legislative measures, according to a story published by the Roll Call in mid-May.
“At a press conference, California Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla touted his bill to permanently protect roughly 250,000 immigrants who grew up in the U.S. as dependents on their parents’ temporary visas, and graduated from American universities, but aged out of that dependent status,” the story read.
The article adds the bill proposed by Padilla has received bipartisan support, but its future of passing both houses of Congress remains unclear.
“Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., chairman of the Judiciary Committee, told reporters that the documented Dreamers legislation would likely need to move as part of a broader package that addresses Republican concerns about border security,” the story read.
Former national security officials push for green card cap exemption for immigrants with advanced STEM degrees
Some former national security officials are urging Congress to create an exemption from green card limits for foreign nationals with advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees, according to a story published by The Hill.
The officials sent a letter earlier this month to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy explaining their request.
“Global STEM talent drives American leadership in critical sectors that underpin the defense industrial base, from computing to aerospace,” the letter reads. “Nearly two-thirds of U.S. graduate students in artificial intelligence (AI) and semiconductor-related programs were born abroad.”
The letter continues: “Today, top Indian STEM graduates are projected to face decades of wait time before being issued a green card. Such delays are driving talent away — more than half of AI PhDs who leave the country after graduating say they did so because of immigration issues. Even for those who manage to stay, citizenship, a requirement for many jobs in the defense-industrial base, can be elusive. The risks for American leadership are clear.”