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Legislative Bulletin — Friday, April 28, 2023

Welcome to the National Immigration Forum’s weekly bulletin! Every Friday, our policy team rounds up key developments around immigration policy in Washington and across the country. The bulletin includes items on the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, as well as some coverage at the state and local levels. 

Here’s a breakdown of the bulletin’s sections:








It can be challenging to keep up with the constant barrage of proposed legislation in Congress. So, every week, we round up a new list of bills here. This section includes federal legislative proposals that have recently been introduced and that are relevant to immigration policy. 


Stop Fentanyl Border Crossings Act

This bill would authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to suspend the entry of persons from certain countries under Title 42 if the Secretary determines that drugs are being smuggled from those countries.

Sponsored by Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tennessee) (10 cosponsors — 10 Republicans, 0 Democrats)

04/19/2023 Introduced in the Senate by Sen. Bill Hagerty

04/19/2023 Referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions


Filipino Veterans Family Reunification Act

This bill would amend immigration law to exempt the children of certain Filipino World War II veterans from global limits on immigration. The House companion, H.R.2823, was introduced by Rep. Ed Case (D-Hawaii).

Sponsored by Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) (14 cosponsors — 2 Republicans, 11 Democrats, 1 Independent)

04/25/2023 Introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mazie K. Hirono 

04/25/2023 Referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary


Securing Our Border Act

This bill would, in part, redirect $15 billion in funding meant for Internal Revenue Service agents to pay for border inspections, border wall construction, and retention bonuses for Border Patrol agents. 

Sponsored by Sen. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) (7 cosponsors — 7 Republicans, 0 Democrats)

04/26/2023 Introduced in the Senate by Sen. Tim Scott 

04/26/2023 Referred to the Senate Committee on Finance


A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to alter the definition of “conviction”

Sponsored by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-California) (9 cosponsors — 0 Republicans, 8 Democrats, 1 Independent)

04/27/2023 Introduced in the Senate by Sen. Alex Padilla  

04/27/2023 Referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary


Border Reinforcement Act of 2023

This bill would restart construction of a border wall, increase the number of Border Patrol agents, require U.S. Customs and Border Protection to come up with a technology investment plan, upgrade current technology, and make other changes to U.S. border enforcement.

Sponsored by Rep. Mark E. Green (R-Tennessee) (17 cosponsors — 17 Republicans, 0 Democrats)

04/24/2023 Introduced in the Senate by Rep. Mark E. Green 

04/24/2023 Referred to the House Committees on Homeland Security, on Ways and Means, and on the Judiciary


DHS Rural and Remote Hiring and Retention Strategy Act of 2023

This bill would mitigate personnel shortages affecting U.S. Customs and Border Protection in rural communities.

Sponsored by Rep. Jared F. Golden (D-Maine) (3 cosponsors — 2 Republicans, 1 Democrat)

04/24/2023 Introduced in the Senate by Rep. Jared F. Golden

04/24/2023 Referred to the House Committee on Homeland Security

H.R. 2827

Partner with Korea Act

This bill would allot 15,000 E-4 visas for Koreans. The Senate companion, S.1301, is sponsored by Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii).

Sponsored by Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Virginia) (1 cosponsor — 1 Republican, 0 Democrats) 

04/25/2023 Introduced in the Senate by Rep. Gerald E. Connolly

04/25/2023 Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary


To provide for higher minimum pay for certain U.S. Border Patrol agents

Sponsored by Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) (0 cosponsors)

04/25/2023 Introduced in the House by Rep. Tony Gonzales 

04/25/2023 Referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability


To prohibit the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration from accepting warrants for the arrest of aliens as valid proof of identification at aviation security checkpoints

Sponsored by Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-New York) (0 cosponsors)

04/25/2023 Introduced in the House by Rep. Nicole Malliotakis 

04/25/2023 Referred to the House Committee on Homeland Security


To require the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make available to the public on the websites of their respective departments certain information relating to individuals processed through U.S. Customs and Border Protection or Department of Health and Human Services facilities

Sponsored by Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-New York) (0 cosponsors)

04/25/2023 Introduced in the House by Rep. Nicole Malliotakis 

04/25/2023 Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary


To designate Lebanon under section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to permit nationals of Lebanon to be eligible for temporary protected status under such section

Sponsored by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) ((1 cosponsor — 0 Republicans, 1 Democrat)

04/26/2023 Introduced in the House by Rep. Rashida Tlaib

04/26/2023 Referred to the House Committees on the Judiciary and on the Budget


Safe Zones Act (SZA) of 2023

This bill would broaden which staff could conduct credible fear analysis and streamline the asylum process to expedite adjudications. It would also establish “safe zones” at embassies, consulates, or similar facilities, and make other changes.

Sponsored by Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas) (0 cosponsors)

04/27/2023 Introduced in the House by Rep. Vicente Gonzalez 

04/27/2023 Referred to the House Committees on the Judiciary and on Homeland Security


The U.S. Senate will be in session from Monday, May 1 through Thursday, May 4, 2023. 

The U.S. House of Representatives will not be in session the week of May 1, 2023. 


Here, we round up congressional hearings and markups happening in the field or in Washington. 

There are no immigration-related policy hearings announced for the week of May 1, 2023. 


Immigration policy is a dynamic field subject to constant change. Here, we summarize some of the most important recent developments in immigration policy on the federal, legal, state, and local levels. 

Content warning: This section sometimes includes events and information that can prove disturbing. 


House Leadership Announces Immigration Bill Package After Months of Internal Debate 

On April 27, House Republicans officially announced their immigration package, which combines two bills that were recently advanced through the House Homeland Security and Judiciary Committees for an enforcement-only approach to the challenges at the U.S.’s southern border. 

Although Republican leadership in the House had hoped to pass a legislative proposal on border security early into the new Congress, divisions between moderates and more right-leaning members of the party spawned months of delays and debate over especially draconian restrictions. But — after a number of quiet concessions and amendments — Republican lawmakers seem to have reached a compromise

“It’s in a good spot,” Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) said of the legislative plan Thursday, after leading opposition to some of its earlier provisions. “As long as nobody does any funny business — you’ve got to watch it till the very end.”

The package is still focused on immigration enforcement alone, with no new legal pathways to relieve pressure at the U.S.’s southern border. In fact, if enacted, some of the pieces from the House Judiciary Committee would curb existing humanitarian pathways by placing limitations on asylum, the executive branch’s parole authority, and a special status to protect migrant youth. 

Meanwhile, the bill that was considered and reported favorably out of the House Homeland Security Committee earlier this week would resume border wall construction, limit the use of the CBPOne phone application, increase the number of border agents, and make other changes. 

House Republicans are teeing up the proposed legislation for a floor vote next month, timed around the end of the Title 42 policy. But for Democrats — and likely the Democratic-controlled Senate — the GOP package remains a non-starter. 

“Democrats aren’t going to vote for a border bill that doesn’t include any kind of immigration reform,” said Rep. Robert Garcia (D-California).

The Biden Administration Unveils Sweeping Plan to ‘Manage Regional Migration’ Ahead of Title 42’s Anticipated End

On April 27, the Biden administration debuted its expansive plan to address an expected uptick in migration at the United States-Mexico border once the Title 42 public health order is set to expire on May 11. 

Part of the announcement included new regional processing centers in Colombia and Guatemala, where people will be able to make phone appointments and be vetted for lawful pathways to the U.S., Canada, and Spain. Officials hope that — by providing an option in-region — migrants won’t need to rely on smugglers, who charge exorbitant fees as guides for dangerous transnational journeys.  

The administration will also debut a new family reunification process for Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, and Colombians, plus modernize similar programs that already exist for Cubans and Haitians. And it’ll give migrants in Mexico access to more appointments for processing into the U.S. through the CBPOne phone app, while doubling its goal for resettling refugees from within the Western Hemisphere. 

Meanwhile, the plan detailed new restrictions and stiff enforcement of penalties for people who try to cross the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization. Generally, these individuals will be rapidly processed through expedited removal, where newcomers are quickly deported, often without ever going before an immigration judge. With limited exceptions, they will be presumed ineligible for asylum, removed on an increased number of flights, subjected to a five-year bar on returning to the U.S., and potentially prosecuted on criminal charges if they make a repeat attempt. 

“Let me be clear. Our border is not open and will not be open after May 11,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said during a press conference.

Biden Announces 2024 Presidential Bid, Taps Julie Chávez Rodriguez as Campaign Manager 

On April 25, President Joe Biden officially launched his re-election campaign by framing next year’s election as a choice between “more freedom or less freedom, more rights or fewer.” 

Biden selected Julie Chávez Rodríguez — granddaughter of the workers’ rights champion César Chávez, and currently the highest-ranking Latina in the White House — to manage his campaign. But while immigration advocates cheered her appointment as a positive sign, they also used Biden’s announcement of a re-election bid to express disappointment with the administration’s record on immigration policy thus far. 

Meanwhile, Biden’s domestic policy adviser Susan Rice will be leaving the White House, according to NBC News. Her departure could open the door for a potential shift in immigration, as she has reportedly been instrumental in some of the administration’s more hardline responses to the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

U.S. Deportations to Cuba Resume

On April 24, the Biden administration restarted deportation flights to Cuba for the first time since December 2020. 

Among the 123 Cubans that the Cuban interior ministry said arrived on a removal flight Monday, 83 had been processed at the U.S.-Mexico border, while 40 more had been interdicted at sea. 

The Cuban government said it would “take no retaliatory action” against those deported, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). U.S. officials on the ground plan to monitor the situation. 

Resumed deportations to Cuba come as the Biden administration generally scales up removal flights in anticipation of the Title 42 public health order’s planned end. 

The number of weekly flights will double or triple for some countries,” DHS said Thursday. “With this increase in removal flights, migrants who cross the U.S. border without authorization and who fail to qualify for protection should expect to be swiftly returned with at least a five-year bar to returning.”

State and Local 

Florida State Lawmakers Poised to Pass Immigration Bill 

Florida state lawmakers have revised an immigration bill that would make knowingly transporting migrants without legal status within the state a felony.

Supporters say state-level action is needed because the federal government hasn’t adequately addressed unlawful immigration, but opponents note the bill will hurt Florida’s immigration-powered economy and further drive undocumented families into the shadows. 

The revised legislation (HB 1617/S.B.1718) would expand penalties for knowingly transporting undocumented individuals into Florida, making it a second-degree felony. The original version of the legislation would have made it unlawful to transport into or within the state an undocumented person, which risked encompassing routine, day-to-day activities like providing transportation services to parishioners to attend a church service or driving an undocumented family member to a doctor’s appointment.

One of the legislation’s most contentious provisions is the requirement for businesses to verify immigration status through a federal database called E-Verify. The bill would require employers with 25 or more workers to use the system, despite the fact that many key industries in the state, such as agriculture and hospitality, already face acute labor shortages.

Amendments to dull some of the House bill’s provisions were put forth by Democrats, but were easily dispatched by the Republican-controlled House Commerce Committee, who approved the proposal on Monday. The Senate Fiscal Policy Committee approved the Senate bill on Tuesday. The state legislature is expected to vote on the bill before its session ends on May 5.

El Paso Mayor Announces Plans for Emergency Declaration Ahead of Title 42’s Planned End

On April 24, El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser announced his city will declare a state of emergency before the Title 42 public health order is expected to end on May 11, in anticipation of an increase in the number of migrants trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. 

“It’s going to really take a lot of work from our teams to be prepared and I know we’ve been working on it and we will be prepared,” Leeser said. 

On the other side of the border, advocates fear migrants could face exacerbated human rights abuses — including inadequate health care, cruel treatment, intimidation, and wrongful detention — once Title 42 expires and Mexico’s migrant detention system potentially faces even more strain. 

Under pressure from the U.S., the Mexican government has been increasing its use of detention, and last year, Mexico held more than 444,000 migrants — a 44% increase from 2021. But a fire at a detention center in Ciudad Juárez that killed 40 migrants in March shone a light on the shortcomings of these facilities, and thousands marched in mass protest on Sunday, calling for an end to Mexico’s detention centers and a dissolution of its immigration agency.

“It could well have been any of us,” said Salvadoran Miriam Argueta, in reference to the tragedy in Juárez. “In fact, a lot of our countrymen died. The only thing we are asking for is justice, and to be treated like anyone else.”


Reports by bodies such as the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Research Service, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General provide invaluable information on immigration policy and practice. Here, we give brief summaries of new immigration-related reports, with links to the resources themselves in case you want to learn more. 

U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO); Customs and Border Protection: Actions Needed to Enhance Acquisition Management and Knowledge Sharing; April 25, 2023

This report analyzes U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) acquisition programs, including collaboration with key stakeholders and lessons learned practices.

U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO); Immigration Courts: Actions Needed to Address Workforce, Performance, and Data Management Challenges; April 26, 2023

This report explores management functions at the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), with a particular focus on needed improvements to workforce planning, performance appraisals, and data quality.

Office of Inspector General (OIG); DHS Has Refined Its Other than Full and Open Competition Reporting Processes; April 26, 2023

This report finds that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) followed guidance around awarding contracts and grants.


The Forum is constantly publishing new policy-focused resources that engage with some of the most topical issues around immigration today. Here are a few that are particularly relevant this week: 

Mexico’s Asylum System: Good in Theory, Insufficient in Practice

This paper details Mexico’s asylum system — its progress and deficiencies — amid the Biden administration’s proposed rule that would push migrants to apply for asylum elsewhere, including in Mexico.

Bill Summary: The Border Security and Enforcement Act of 2023

This bill summary details H.R.2640, including key provisions from House Republicans’ border package. 

Border Resources Directory

This resource page is a one-stop shop for answers to questions about the U.S.-Mexico border and migration. 

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*This Bulletin is not intended to be comprehensive. Please contact Alexandra Villarreal, Policy and Advocacy Associate at the National Immigration Forum, with comments and suggestions of additional items to be included. Alexandra can be reached at Thank you.

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