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Boundless Immigration News Weekly Recap: Nov. 5, 2021

Nov 5, 2021

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Vote on House Reconciliation Bill Imminent

House Democrats hope to vote Friday, Nov. 5 on the President’s ambitious social spending plan contained in the budget reconciliation bill. Party leaders struggled to corral the needed votes on Thursday, as questions about immigration, prescription drug prices, and tax deductions remained open. However, party leaders posted an amendment late Thursday evening as the White House urged lawmakers to pass the legislation “right now.” The amendment does not include any changes to the immigration provisions released Wednesday.

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No Path to Citizenship in Latest Reconciliation Bill

Democrats are close to finalizing their massive spending plan, but the latest version no longer includes a pathway to citizenship for millions. Instead, Democrats are offering a temporary parole option — essentially a work permit — for close to 7 million undocumented immigrants, as well as recapturing more than one million green cards previously authorized by Congress that have gone unused since 1992.

Supreme Court to Hear States’ Bid to Revive Trump-Era Public Charge Policy

The Supreme Court agreed late last week to decide whether a group of Republican attorney generals can stand in to defend the Trump-era public charge policy that was rescinded by the Biden administration in March. Frequently referred to as a “wealth test,” the attorneys general of eleven states have asked the high court to allow them to intervene and defend the highly-criticized public charge rule in place of the Department of Justice. The Justices declined to consider two other questions seeking a decision on the legality of the rule itself.

USCIS Settles H-1B Specialty Occupation Suit, Agrees to Reconsider Market Research Cases

In an important win for H-1B visa holders and their employers, USCIS has decided to allow employers to reopen certain H-1B visa applications that were wrongfully denied by USCIS based on an unlawful interpretation of the government’s guidelines for whether to job of “market research analyst” qualifies as a “specialty occupation.” Since the settlement was part of a class action, hundreds of employers will have the opportunity to request their petitions be reconsidered by USCIS, potentially getting H-1B holders back to work at a time when the U.S. economy needs all the workers it can get.

Washington State Federal Jury Rules Detained Immigrants Are Owed Minimum Wage

A federal jury in Washington state ruled that immigrants being held in detention centers are owed minimum wage for the work they do. Detainees at the for-profit detention center were previously paid just $1 a day for tasks such as cooking and cleaning, despite Washington state’s being $11/hour or above since 2017. The jury will now decide how much back-pay the immigrant detainees are owed, with the amount expected to run into the millions.

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