Legislative Bulletin — Friday, July 15, 2022

BILLS INTRODUCED AND CONSIDERED
LEGISLATIVE FLOOR CALENDAR
UPCOMING HEARINGS AND MARKUPS
THEMES IN WASHINGTON THIS WEEK
GOVERNMENT REPORTS
SPOTLIGHT ON NATIONAL IMMIGRATION FORUM RESOURCES

BILLS INTRODUCED AND CONSIDERED

H.R. 7900

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023

The bill would appropriate funding for the national defense priorities for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. Various immigration-related amendments were added to the bill, including one that provides a pathway for Documented Dreamers to remain in the United States, and another that increases resources for Afghan SIV and refugee processing.

Sponsored by Representative Adam Smith (D-Washington) (0 cosponsors)

05/27/2022 Introduced in the House by Representative Smith

05/27/2022 Referred to the House Committee on Armed Services

07/01/2022 Reported (Amended) by the Committee on Armed Services

07/14/2022 Passed the House after a 329 – 101 vote

H.R. 8355

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to reform the asylum claim process

Sponsored by Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) (11 cosponsors— 11 Republicans, 0 Democrats)

07/13/2022 Introduced in the House by Representative Crenshaw

07/13/2022 Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary

S. 4518

Solving the Border Crisis Act

The bill would codify and extend Title 42 until at least 60 days after the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, resume border barrier construction, preserve the exclusive authority of immigration judges over asylum claims, and codify the Migrant Protection Protocols.

Sponsored by Senator James Risch (R-Idaho) (1 cosponsor— 1 Republican, 0 Democrats)

07/13/2022 Introduced in the Senate by Senator Risch

07/13/2022 Referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary

S. 4526

A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to limit the grounds of deportability for certain relatives of members of the Armed Forces and veterans

Sponsored by Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) (0 cosponsors)

07/13/2022 Introduced in the Senate by Senator Booker

07/13/2022 Referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary

S. 4527

A bill to amend section 287 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to prohibit immigration officers and agents of the Department of Homeland Security from wearing clothing or other items bearing the word “police”

Sponsored by Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) (0 cosponsors)

07/13/2022 Introduced in the Senate by Senator Booker

07/13/2022 Referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary

S. 4529

Children’s Safe Welcome Act

The bill would codify minimum child welfare protections such as health and safety standards, state licensing requirements, and the best interests of the child standards. The bill would also prohibit family separations, with narrow exceptions to protect the safety of the child. This is a companion bill of H.R. 8349.

Sponsored by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) (13 cosponsors— 12 Democrats, 1 Independent)

07/13/2022 Introduced in the Senate by Senator Merkley

07/13/2022 Referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary

LEGISLATIVE FLOOR CALENDAR

The U.S. Senate will be in session the week of Monday, July 18, 2022.

The U.S. House of Representatives will be in session from Monday, July 18, through Thursday, July 21, 2022.

UPCOMING HEARINGS AND MARKUPS

Hearing: Second Class Workers: Assessing H2 Visa Programs Impact on Workers

Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2022, at 10:15 am E.T. (House Committee on Education and Labor)

Location: 2175 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Witnesses: TBD

THEMES IN WASHINGTON THIS WEEK

Federal

President Biden Hosts Mexico’s President López Obrador to Discuss Migration, Other Issues

On July 12, President Joe Biden met at the White House with his Mexican counterpart President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to discuss a number of bilateral issues, including migration.

After the meeting, both countries reached six migration-related non-binding agreements: 1) The United States and Mexico promised to launch a bilateral working group on labor migration pathways and worker protections; 2) Both countries agreed to start a working group to strengthen their response to cross-border child migration; 3) The U.S. will invest $3.4 billion in 26 construction and modernization projects at land ports of entry on the northern and southern border; 4) Mexico promised to invest $1.5 billion in border infrastructure between 2022 and 2024; 5) Both countries pledged to improve economic and social conditions throughout the Americas to tackle the root causes of migration; and 6) The U.S. promised to continue its efforts to arrest and prosecute human smugglers through Operation Joint Task Force Alpha, while Mexico promised to do the same through its Attorney General’s Office.

The next in-person meeting between President Biden and López Obrador is expected to happen at the 10th North American Leaders Summit, which will take place in Mexico at the end of the year. Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, is also expected to attend the summit.

CBP Report Finds that Border Patrol Agents Acted Unprofessionally, Unsafely, and Used Unnecessary Force Against Haitian Migrants

On July 8, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published the conclusive 511-page report of its investigation on CBP agents’ treatment of Haitian migrants near Del Rio, Texas, in September 2021. The investigation was prompted by images and video of CBP agents on horseback, appearing to use their reins as whips and charging Haitian migrants as they attempted to cross the border. The images sparked outrage from advocates and lawmakers. The White House also condemned the actions, suspended the use of CBP horse patrols, and initiated an investigation into the incidents.

The CBP-OPR report concluded that CBP agents on horseback acted unprofessionally, unsafely, and used unnecessary force toward Haitian migrants. The investigation, however, found no evidence that agents struck any person with horse reins and no evidence that the migrants’ rights to seek protection had been abridged. The investigative report noted that CBP leadership is taking a series of corrective actions to remedy the organizational and management issues that arose after the incident. These include changes to practices, training, and operational methods to address management failures that contributed to the incident, stricter limits on the use of the horse patrol, and strengthening leadership and agency accountability.

Advocacy organizations have criticized the report for failing to include voices of the Haitian migrants who were present during the events in question and subject to the mistreatment by CBP agents.

New ICE Directive Preserves Parental and Guardianship Rights Impacted by Immigration Enforcement

On July 14, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) published a directive aimed at preserving the parental rights of noncitizens impacted by immigration enforcement activities. Among other provisions, the directive ensures that when a noncitizen parent or legal guardian is arrested or detained for a civil immigration proceeding, the noncitizen can maintain visitation with their child or incapacitated adult for whom they serve as guardian. The new directive also requires ICE to have procedures in place to identify individuals who are parents or legal guardians and requires ICE to develop new trainings on safeguarding the parental or guardianship rights of noncitizens they encounter while executing their duties.

Biden Administration Extends TPS for Venezuela, But Does Not Redesignate Status for New Arrivals

On July 11, the Biden Administration extended the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuela. The 18-month extension — effective from September 10, 2022 — will permit around 343,000 current Venezuelan TPS holders to retain their status through March 10, 2024. However, the extension was not accompanied by a redesignation meaning the over 150,000 Venezuelans who arrived in the United States after March 8, 2021 will not be eligible for TPS.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that the renewal of TPS for Venezuela was appropriate to “provide humanitarian support to Venezuelans at home and abroad.” Secretary Mayorkas added that the U.S. would continue to work with its international partners “to address the challenges of regional migration while ensuring our borders remain secure.”

TPS is granted by DHS to eligible foreign-born individuals who are unable to return home safely due to violence or other circumstances in their home country.

Legal

Dreamers with Blocked DACA Applications File Lawsuit Against Biden Administration

On July 7, a U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York held oral arguments in Batalla Vidal v. Mayorkas, a case concerning Dreamers with blocked applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The case stems from a July 16, 2021 ruling from District Court Judge Andrew Hanen in which he held that DACA was unlawful, granted a permanent injunction vacating the original 2012 DACA memorandum, and prevented USCIS from approving new DACA applications. As a result of this decision, the Biden administration has refused to grant protections to those with pending first-time DACA applications at the time of the ruling, as well as those who have refiled for DACA after their initial DACA protections have lapsed.

In Batalla Vidal v. Mayorkas, a group of these Dreamers argue that the Biden administration has gone beyond the requirements of the Texas court ruling to interpret their applications as “new” applications.  The plaintiffs — many of whom paid $495 in application fees to USCIS and have not received a refund — argue that Judge Hanen did not specify what should happen to applications already received or to reapplications after protections have lapsed, and, therefore, their applications should be excluded from the ruling.

According to a June 7 Bloomberg Law report, USCIS had around 80,000 pending applications at the moment when Judge Hanen ruled that DACA was unlawful.

This case is separate from Texas et al. v. USA, a case concerning the legality of DACA that is currently under the consideration of the Fifth Circuit after hearing oral arguments on July 6.

Biden Administration Asks Supreme Court to Allow Implementation of Immigration Enforcement Guidelines

On July 8, the Biden administration requested the Supreme Court to stay a district court order that blocked the implementation of the Biden administration’s immigration enforcement priorities. The request was filed one day after the Fifth Circuit denied the Biden administration’s petition to stay the order. The guidelines in dispute attempted to re-prioritize enforcement efforts to focus on immigrants who are deemed national security threats, those who recently crossed the border unlawfully, and those who have been convicted of aggravated felonies or other violent crimes. The Biden administration argued that limited resources require prioritizing certain enforcement actions, and that the use of discretion and prioritization is both common and necessary across law enforcement agencies.

The case stems from an April 6 lawsuit that Texas and Louisiana filed against the federal government’s enforcement guidelines. On June 10, a federal judge in Texas sided with the states, arguing that while the federal government has case-by-case discretion, DHS policy binds officials in a “generalized, prospective manner.” The Biden administration appealed the ruling and requested a stay while the appeal was underway, but the Fifth Circuit refused. The Fifth Circuit’s rejection of the stay request conflicts with a July 6 ruling in the Sixth Circuit, which rejected a similar injunction by an Ohio judge in a suit that also concerned the administration’s enforcement guidelines.

State & Local

North Carolina’s Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Require Local Authorities to Cooperate With ICE

On July 11, Governor Roy Cooper vetoed bill S.B. 101 —also known as “Require Cooperation with ICE 2.0” — that would have required jails to notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if local authorities have charged individuals with a felony and cannot determine their immigration status. In vetoing the bill, Governor Cooper commented that the bill is “unconstitutional and weakens law enforcement in North Carolina by mandating sheriffs do the job of federal agents.” He also stressed that the “law already allows the state to incarcerate and prosecute dangerous criminals regardless of immigration status.”

Governor Cooper vetoed a similar bill in 2019, commenting on the unconstitutionality and political motivations of the bill. The bill was introduced after some sheriffs in North Carolina counties ended cooperation agreements with ICE and became ‘sanctuary’ jurisdictions.

Sanctuary jurisdictions are those that limit state and local officials’ involvement in federal immigration enforcement functions. Some immigration advocates and law enforcement officials have argued that requiring local law enforcement to conduct federal immigration enforcement functions can undermine public trust in local law enforcement and make communities less safe.

GOVERNMENT REPORTS

Congressional Research Service (CRS); “Nonimmigrant and Immigrant Visa Categories: Data Brief;” July 11, 2022

This CRS brief provides information on the total number of visas issued in the United States in 2021.

Congressional Research Service (CRS); “Federal Agency Rule Expands Asylum Officers’ Authority;” July 13, 2022

This CRS report provides an overview of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) interim final rule issued in March 2022 that provides additional authority to asylum officers in humanitarian relief claims at the border. Specifically, the rule allows asylum officers within DHS’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to determine whether foreign nationals encountered at the border who show a credible fear of persecution or torture are entitled to asylum and related protections.

Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility (CBP-OPR); “Del Rio Horse Patrol Unit Investigation Report;” July 8, 2022

This CBP-OPR report concluded that CBP agents on horseback acted unprofessionally, unsafely, and used unnecessary force toward Haitian migrants on September, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The report does not find evidence that agents struck any person with horse reins. The investigative report notes that CBP leadership is taking a series of corrective actions to remedy the organizational and management issues identified in the report. These include changes to practices, training, and operational methods to address management failures that contributed to the incident, stricter limits on the use of the horse patrol, and strengthening leadership and agency accountability.

SPOTLIGHT ON NATIONAL IMMIGRATION FORUM RESOURCES

The Current State of DACA: Challenges Await in Litigation and Rulemaking

This explainer describes the current state of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, discussing the ongoing attempts to scale back or end the program in the courts and the current administration’s attempts to preserve the program.

42 Border Solutions That Aren’t Title 42

This resource provides 42 sustainable, effective border solutions that are not Tile 42. The 42 solutions are broken up into three categories — border processes, root causes, and border security.

Explainer: The Migrant Protection Protocols

This explainer describes the history and elements of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), commonly known as the Remain-in-Mexico program. Under MPP, certain migrants seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border were returned to Mexico after making an asylum claim in the U.S. and expected to wait near the border for the duration of their immigration proceedings.

* * *

*This Bulletin is not intended to be comprehensive. Please contact Arturo Castellanos-Canales, National Immigration Forum Policy and Advocacy Associate, with comments and suggestions of additional items to be included. Arturo can be reached at acastellanos@immigrationforum.org. Thank you.

Learn More

Read more about Advocacy Resources Landing Page

Article

Advocacy Resources Landing Page

Read more about Legislative Bulletin — Friday, July 8, 2022

Legislative Bulletin

Legislative Bulletin — Friday, July 8, 2022

Read more about Legislative Bulletin — Friday, July 1, 2022

Legislative Bulletin

Legislative Bulletin — Friday, July 1, 2022