Legislative Bulletin — Friday, May 20, 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. 7309

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2022

The bill would appropriate $78 billion over six years to fund WIOA programs to train one million workers per year by 2028. Among its many provisions, the bill would enhance the migrant and seasonal farmworker programs run by the Department of Labor.

Sponsored by Representative Robert Scott (D-Virginia) (55 cosponsors— 55 Democrats, 0 Republicans)

03/31/2022 Introduced in the House by Representative Scott

03/31/2022 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor

05/17/2022 Passed the House of Representatives after a 220-196 vote

05/18/2022 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

H.R. 7691

Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022

The bill is a funding package meant to fund the government’s ongoing response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Among many other provisions, the bill would appropriate $900,000,000 to assist Ukrainian refugees and $350,000,000 to address humanitarian needs in Ukraine and other countries in the Eastern European region impacted by the situation in Ukraine. The bill would also allow Ukrainian parolees the ability to access certain resettlement benefits offered to refugees.

Sponsored by Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut) (0 cosponsors)

05/10/2022 Introduced in the House by Representative DeLauro

05/10/2022 Referred to the House Committees on Appropriations and on the Budget

05/10/2022 Passed by the House by a 368 – 57 vote

05/19/2022 Passed the Senate by a 86-11 vote.

05/19/2022 Presented to the U.S. President

H.R. 7709

Displaced Afghan Women and Girls Education Act of 2022

The bill would require the Department of Education to appoint a Special Official for Displaced Afghan Women and Girls. The Special Official would be in charge of developing and implementing programs to provide college scholarships and educational support to women and girls who have escaped Afghanistan and come to the United States.

Sponsored by Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) (48 cosponsors— 48 Democrats, 0 Republicans)

05/10/2022 Introduced in the House by Representative Maloney

05/10/2022 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor

H.R. 7737

Communist Visa Transparency Act of 2022

The bill would require the Department of State to modify the nonimmigrant visa application form (DS–160) to include a question to learn whether the applicants are members of a communist party.

Sponsored by Representative Jim Banks (R-Indiana) (0 cosponsors)

05/12/2022 Introduced in the House by Representative Banks

05/12/2022 Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary

H.R. 7756

Border Security and Migrant Safety Act of 2022

The bill would require the Department of Homeland Security to establish within the National Targeting Center of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a dedicated intelligence cell focused on sharing information regarding concentrated surges of migrants arriving at the land border of the United States, and illicit smuggling and trafficking that may pose a border security threat to the land border of the United States.

Sponsored by Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-Michigan) (1 cosponsor— 1 Republican, 0 Democrats)

05/13/2022 Introduced in the House by Representative Slotkin

05/13/2022 Referred to the House Committees on Homeland Security, Foreign Affairs, and the Judiciary

H.R. 7757

Emergency Migration Response Act of 2022

The bill would allow the President of the United States, at the request of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or a State or local government entity, to declare an “extraordinary migration event” whenever the average number of border apprehensions per week by U.S. Customs and Border Protection is significantly higher compared to historical data. Upon the declaration, the President would be required to appoint a DHS official to coordinate the administration of assistance offered to the DHS, State governments, or local entities in response to such an event.

Sponsored by Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-Michigan) (1 cosponsor— 1 Republican, 0 Democrats)

05/13/2022 Introduced in the House by Representative Slotkin

05/13/2022 Referred to the House Committees Homeland Security, Ways and Means, Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Judiciary

H.R. 7772

Border Safety and Security Act of 2022

The bill would grant discretionary authority to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to suspend the entry of foreign nationals to the United States at ports of entry whenever DHS deems necessary that such measure would help to achieve operational control over the border.

Sponsored by Representative Chip Roy (R-Texas) (20 cosponsors— 20 Republicans, 0 Democrats)

05/13/2022 Introduced in the House by Representative Roy

05/13/2022 Referred to the House Committees on Homeland Security and the Judiciary

H.R. 7805

To amend title 13, United States Code, to prohibit the use of questions on citizenship, nationality, or immigration status in any decennial census

Sponsored by Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-California) (0 cosponsors)

05/17/2022 Introduced in the House by Representative Del. Norton

05/17/2022 Referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform

H.R. 7821

To authorize the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to provide stipends to certain vetted foreign members of Transnational Criminal Investigative Units

Sponsored by Representative Andrew Garbarino (R-New York) (8 cosponsors— 8 Republicans, 0 Democrats)

05/18/2022 Introduced in the House by Representative Garbarino

05/18/2022 Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary

H.R. 7825

To amend title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to prohibit the provision of funds under such title to institutions of higher education that violate the immigration laws

Sponsored by Representative Gregory Murphy (R-North Carolina) (3 cosponsors— 3 Republicans, 0 Democrats)

05/18/2022 Introduced in the House by Representative Murphy

05/18/2022 Referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor

S. 4171

International Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2022

Among various provisions, the bill would require the Department of State to inform embassies, international organizations, and foreign missions of the rights of A–3 and G–5 foreign domestic workers, and of the consequences of not complying with the labor laws of the United States.

Sponsored by Senator Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) (3 cosponsors— 3 Republicans, 0 Democrats)

05/10/2022 Introduced in the Senate by Senator Menendez

05/10/2022 Referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

S. 4220

Securing the Visa Waiver Program Act

The bill would codify the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6 (HSPD-6), which is an arrangement between Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries to share watch-list information about known or suspected terrorists. The VWP enables citizens of specific countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.

Sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) (1 cosponsor— 1 Republican, 0 Democrats)

05/16/2022 Introduced in the Senate by Senator Rubio

05/16/2022 Referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary

LEGISLATIVE FLOOR CALENDAR

The U.S. Senate will be in session the week of Monday, May 23, 2022.

The U.S. House of Representatives will be in session for committee work from Tuesday, May 24, through Thursday, May 26, 2022.

UPCOMING HEARINGS AND MARKUPS

Hearing: Examining DHS’ Efforts to Improve Processing for International Visitors

Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at 9:00 am E.T. (House Committee on Homeland Security)

Location: Harry Reid International Airport, 5757 Wayne Newton Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119

Witnesses:

Carlos Martel, Director of Field Operations, Los Angeles Field Office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Karen R. Burke, Federal Security Director, Nevada, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Kate Wik, Chief Marketing Officer, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Rosemary Vassiliadis, Director of Aviation, Clark County Department of Aviation

THEMES IN WASHINGTON THIS WEEK

Federal

Anti-Immigrant Lie Behind Buffalo Shooting

On May 14, a self-proclaimed white supremacist shooter killed ten Black people and injured three more in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. The shooter’s actions were motivated by a racist, anti-immigrant lie commonly known as the Great Replacement theory, which holds that welcoming immigration policies — particularly those impacting nonwhite immigrants — are part of a plot designed to undermine or “replace” the political power and culture of white people living in Western countries.

The Great Replacement theory, which has become increasingly mainstream in recent years, has so far inspired four mass shootings in the last four years: The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in 2018 that killed eleven Jewish worshippers, the anti-Latino El Paso shooting in 2019 that killed 23 people, the Christchurch, New Zealand, shooting in 2019 that killed 51 Muslim worshippers, and the Buffalo shooting on May 14.

Senate Passes Ukraine Aid Package

On May 19, the U.S. Senate voted 86-11 to pass the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, a bill that would provide nearly $40 billion in additional military, economic and humanitarian aid to respond to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. The bill would provide Ukrainians who are resettled in the U.S. under parole — whether after arriving at the border or through the recently created Uniting for Ukraine private sponsorship program — access to certain resettlement benefits typically offered to refugees. The bill would also appropriate $900,000,000 to assist Ukrainian refugees and parolees who have resettled in the U.S. and $350,000,000 to address humanitarian needs and assist refugees in and from Ukraine.

The bill now awaits to be signed into law by President Biden, who thanked Congress for “sending a clear bipartisan message to the world that the people of the United States stand together with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their democracy and freedom.”

CBP Border Data Reveals Slight Increase in Migrant Encounters in April

On May 17, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released official data on the number of migrants the agency had apprehended or encountered at the border in the month of April. The data showed a 5.4% increase in overall monthly encounters as the numbers increased to 222,144 in April from 221,303 in March.

While the April numbers represent a record for overall encounters, the data shows a decrease from March in unique border crossers and in total Border Patrol apprehensions between ports of entry. Due to continuing high rates of repeat crossing (28%), CBP reported that the total number of unique crossers encountered in April was 157,555 — a 2% decrease from March. Moreover, Border Patrol apprehensions between ports of entry declined 4% in April to 201,800 from March’s total of 210,749. Around 43% of all encounters — a total of 96,908 individuals — were immediately expelled under a pandemic-era rule called Title 42, which is expected to end on May 23.

The slight increase in overall encounters was driven predominantly by a sharp increase in arriving migrants from Ukraine (20,118 encounters), most of whom applied for and received humanitarian parole at official ports of entry.  April also saw an increase of arriving migrant families from 37,882 in March to 54,773 in April and the continued prominent migration from Cubans (34,821 encounters).

Biden Administration Makes Available an Additional 35,000 H-2B Visas for the Second Half of FY 2022

On May 16, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the availability of an additional 35,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2022. These visas will be set aside for U.S. employers seeking to employ additional workers from April 1 through September 30, 2022. Of the 35,000 visas, 23,500 will be available to returning H-2B workers, and 11,500 will be reserved for nationals of Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The additional visas became available on May 18.

The H-2B program permits employers to temporarily hire noncitizens to perform nonagricultural temporary labor or services in the United States. Employers seeking H-2B workers must certify there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work for which they seek a prospective foreign worker. In addition, they must certify that employing H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

DHS initially announced in late March the additional H-2B visas would be made available, but it took almost two months (and well past April 1) for the change to actually go into effect. Some employers have complained that waiting so long for the visas to become available will reduce the impact of the policy.

Biden Administration Reinstates Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program

On May 16, the Biden Administration announced a series of measures to facilitate the travel of Cubans to the United States. Among the measures, the administration reinstated the Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) Program and announced other reforms to increase visa processing in Havana. The announcement comes as an increasing number of Cuban migrants have been encountered at the Southwest border and after bilateral negotiations between the U.S. and Mexico allowing Title 42 expulsions of Cuban arrivals at the border.

Initially created in 2007, the CFRP Program allows certain eligible U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to apply for parole for their family members in Cuba. If granted parole, these family members may come to the United States without waiting for their immigrant visas to become available. Once in the United States, CFRP Program beneficiaries may apply for work authorization while waiting for lawful permanent resident status.

In the announcement, the administration also highlighted its intention to strengthen family ties and facilitate educational connections between the U.S. and Cuban people by expanding authorized travel.

Biden Administration Designates Afghanistan for Special Student Relief

On May 20, the Biden Administration designated Afghanistan for Special Student Relief (SSR). The designation will allow Afghan students with F-1 student visas to request employment authorization, work an increased number of hours while their academic institution is in session, and reduce their course load while continuing to maintain their F-1 nonimmigrant student status. Afghanistan’s designation for SSR — effective through November 20, 2023 — aims to help Afghan students who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a result of ongoing strife following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

SSR is a discretionary measure through which the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can suspend certain regulatory requirements for F‑1 students from parts of the world that are experiencing emergent circumstances. Currently, ten countries are designated for SSR: Syria, Venezuela, Myanmar, Yemen, Somalia, Haiti, Hong Kong, South Sudan, Ukraine, and Afghanistan.

Biden Administration Announces Intention to Deny Entry to the US to 16 Afghan Evacuees Held in Kosovo

According to a May 16 Axios report, the Biden administration intends to formally deny entry to the United States to 16 Afghan evacuees who are among those being held for additional screening in Camp Bondsteel in eastern Kosovo. There are currently approximately 100 other Afghans who were sent to Camp Bondsteel after raising derogatory flags upon initial biographic and biometric screening. The U.S. had arranged with the Kosovo government to hold the Afghan evacuees for 365 days while they underwent further screening and vetting. This is the first time that the Biden administration has denied entry to Afghans who are undergoing additional vetting at Camp Bondsteel.

A spokesperson for the National Security Council told Axios that “while the vast majority of Afghan evacuees have been cleared through this process, the small number of individuals who have been denied are examples of the system working exactly as it should.” Approximately 76,000 Afghans have been granted entry to the U.S. through Operation Allies Welcome.

It is not clear what will happen to the 16 individuals who have been denied entrance to the U.S. In February 2022, the U.S. reportedly deported its first Afghan evacuee back to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan after discovering the individual had a record of criminality.

Legal

Supreme Court Rules that Federal Courts Lack Jurisdiction to Review Facts Found as Part of Immigration Proceedings

On May 16, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed an Eleventh Circuit ruling that restricted the federal courts’ jurisdiction to review certain elements of immigration court proceedings. The case, Patel v. Garland, revolved around an undocumented immigrant who was denied discretionary adjustment of status based on the fact that he ticked a box on a Georgia driver’s license application form claiming to be an American citizen.

Years later, the government initiated removal proceedings against Patel who, in turn, tried for a second time to renew his adjustment of status. Patel argued before an Immigration Judge that he had mistakenly checked the “citizen” box on the state application and thus lacked the subjective intent to falsely represent himself as a U.S. citizen. The Immigration Judge disagreed, denied Patel’s application for adjustment of status, and ordered his removal from the country. Patel appealed the decision, but the Board of Immigration Appeals dismissed Patel’s appeal. Patel petitioned the Eleventh Circuit for review but the court held that it lacked jurisdiction to consider his claim.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court agreed that the factual determinations of which Patel sought review — whether he had testified credibly and whether he had subjectively intended to misrepresent himself as a citizen — were beyond the court’s authority.

GOVERNMENT REPORTS

There were no government-issued immigration-related reports the week of Monday, May 16, 2022.

SPOTLIGHT ON NATIONAL IMMIGRATION FORUM RESOURCES

The Great Replacement Theory, Explained

This explainer is designed to help anyone understand what this “great replacement” theory is, where it came from, and how it is being used today. We also explore the implications of its growing popularity, and how we can fight back against its spread.

Addressing Increases in Migration at the Southwest Border

This updated resource provides policy recommendations that would create more humane and efficient border processing, refocus on regional approaches that combat trafficking networks and address the root causes of migration, and enact practical border security fixes that address key remaining vulnerabilities.

Explainer: Title 42 and What Comes Next at the Border

This explainer provides more information about the Title 42 border policy, its impact on the border, and what will happen when the policy is lifted on May 23.

* * *

*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.

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