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Boundless Immigration News Weekly Recap: October 28, 2022

A weekly roundup of need-to-know immigration stories

Oct 28, 2022

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Biden Administration Grants TPS Status to Ethiopians

The Department of Homeland Security granted Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, to Ethiopians for the next 18 months.

The civil war in Ethiopia has left thousands dead and displaced more than two million people.

Roughly 27,000 Ethiopians will be eligible to apply for TPS, said a DHS spokesperson.

Only Ethiopians already in the U.S. as of October 20 are eligible.

Hundreds of Thousands of Immigrants at Risk of Losing Legal Status

Negotiations to extend Temporary Protected Status for hundreds of thousands of immigrants, mostly from Central America, broke down this week.

Around 337,000 immigrants from Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nepal have sought in federal court to extend their protected status after the former Trump administration’s efforts to end the protections for those countries.

After more than a year of talks, the Biden administration and attorneys for the immigrants failed to reach an agreement on Wednesday, which could strip them of their legal status as early as next year.

Citizenship Backlog Soars in 2022, Finds New Boundless Report

The processing time for citizenship applications reached almost 18 months by August 2022 — more than double the average processing time between 2012 and 2016, according to a new Boundless’ data report.

The report found that many barriers to accessing U.S. citizenship have worsened over time, while some remain constant, such as high application costs and mandatory civics and English language tests. COVID-19 further aggravated key shortcomings in the process.

Demand for naturalization had already increased in the years prior to the pandemic, and with COVID-related processing freezes, the application backlog soared.

USCIS Extends COVID-19 Flexibilities

USCIS announced it will extend COVID-19 flexibilities for responding to certain agency requests through January 24, 2023.

The agency said it will consider a form or response received 60 days beyond the due date outlined in the notice, if the notice or request was issued between March 1, 2020 and January 24, 2023.

The flexibilities aim to simplify the application process due to COVID backlogs and processing delays.

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