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Boundless Immigration News Weekly Recap: Nov. 19, 2021

Nov 19, 2021

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House Passes Build Back Better Act with $107B Earmarked for Immigration Reform

On Friday, the House passed a sweeping social spending bill with more than $100 billion earmarked for immigration reform.

The Build Back Better Act includes provisions that would give parole to up to 7.1 million undocumented immigrants, which includes protection from deportation and 5-year work permits.

The bill also recaptures more than 2 million unused green cards, aid Diversity Visa winners who were unable to enter the U.S. during the pandemic, and give the Child Tax Credit to American children with undocumented parents.

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Parliamentarian Considers Immigration as Build Back Better Heads to Senate

Now that the House has passed its version of the Build Back Better Act, the bill is set to head to the Senate, though it is not expected to reach the Senate floor until December. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate aims to pass the Act before Christmas.

Senators also began meeting again with the parliamentarian this week to debate whether important portions of the bill qualify for the budget reconciliation process. As a reminder, any provisions included in budget reconciliation must have a “direct budgetary effect” to avoid filibustering and allow the bill to pass with a simple majority.

Senate Bill Aims to Protect Non-Citizen U.S. Veterans from Deportation, Provide Pathway to Citizenship

A group of Senate Democrats introduced a bill this week to stop deportations of some immigrant veterans and provide a pathway to citizenship in recognition of those who have served.

The Veteran Deportation Prevention and Reform Act seeks to prevent the deportation of noncitizen veterans, improve the pathway to citizenship for eligible military service members and their families, and grant deported veterans an opportunity to return home to the U.S.

It is estimated that close to 1,000 non-citizen U.S. veterans have been forced to live in another country after their service due to their immigration status since 1996.

National Interest Vaccine Exemptions for Travelers Will Be “Extremely Rare”

International travelers seeking a national interest exemption from the Covid-19 vaccine and testing requirements will be granted one only in “extremely rare” circumstances according to the U.S. Department of State. In general, non-citizen travelers flying into the U.S. need to show proof of full vaccination as well as a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of departure.

TPS holders file class-action lawsuit challenging Trump-era policy

A group of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders is challenging a Trump-era policy with a class-action lawsuit. In 2020 the Trump administration reversed a policy that had been in place for thirty years which had allowed TPS holders’ to file green card applications after they traveled abroad and re-entered the U.S. on advance parole. The class of TPS holders hopes to overturn the 2020 decision and obtain their green cards.

The U.S. government plans to halt the resettlement of new refugees in order to prioritize assistance for Afghan evacuees

The U.S. government plans to halt the resettlement of new refugees in order to prioritize assistance for Afghan evacuees. The decision was met with criticism from advocacy groups who claim Biden has reneged on his promise to welcome more refugees and improve the asylum process.

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