Omnibus Appropriations Bill Signed – Reauthorizes Certain Immigration Programs
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, an omnibus spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Biden on March 11, reauthorizes certain immigration programs. These include e-Verify, the special immigrant non-minister religious worker program, and the Conrad 30 waiver program through the end of this fiscal year (September 30, 2022). The bill also reauthorizes the EB-5 immigrant investor program through September 2027. The new minimum investments are $1,050,000 for standard EB-5 investments and $800,000 for investments in Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs).
The omnibus bill also increases the appropriated funding for USCIS by more than $200 million and allows some of the funds to be used for backlog reduction. Also, in an attempt to reduce backlogs, the bill grants the DOS the discretionary authority to opt to use visa application fraud fees for regular consular services.
The bill also reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act. It does not include visa recapture provisions.
Source: ABIL Newsletter, March 13, 2022 and https://rules.house.gov/sites/democrats.rules.house.gov/files/BILLS-117HR2471SA-RCP-117-35.pdf
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Advocates for More Immigration
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has noted in a statement that the only way to address low employment in America is to improve the immigration system and facilitate legal immigration. The statement was prompted by the recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealing there were 11.3 million job openings across the United States as of January 2022.
Recently, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce joined a new coalition, the Alliance for a New Immigration Consensus, comprising many groups representing several industries. The coalition is working to forge bipartisan legislative support for solutions that provide permanent legal protections and other reforms for many types of immigrants.
Source: National Law Review, March 12, 2022: https://www.natlawreview.com/article/immigration-weekly-round-expulsion-policy-faces-political-heat-ice-arrests-fall