Immigration Now: Immigration Bill & Changes to Asylum
President Biden sent an immigration bill to Congress which includes the following:
- Five-year pathway to permanent residence for undocumented immigrants present in the country on January 21, 2021, followed by a three-year wait for naturalization.
- Eliminating the three- and ten-year bars that prevent many individuals from returning to the US for 3 or 10 years because of previous unauthorized stays in the country.
- Requirement to provide counsel to children and other vulnerable individuals placed into immigration proceedings who cannot afford a lawyer.
- Emphasize smart technology for border management, including the modernization of border infrastructure at ports of entry.
If passed, this bill would open the possibility of obtaining legal status to millions of individuals that currently reside in the country, as well as to family members of many US citizens and lawful permanent residents.
Asylum Seekers subject to Migrant Protection Protocols will be Allowed Into the Country
During the Trump administration, asylum seekers at the Southern border were sent back to Mexico to wait for court hearings. The current administration stopped this practice and created a plan to allow those currently waiting in Mexico under the Migrant Protection Program (MPP) to be allowed entry into the country.
Phase One of the process will start February 19th. Individuals in MPP with a pending case will be able to find out when and where they will be allowed to reenter using an online or phone service. Upon entry, they will be placed in an alternative to detention program and released to a local border shelter for transportation to a final destination.
‘Safe Third Country’ Agreements Ended
President Biden suspended and began the process of withdrawing from the Asylum Cooperative Agreements entered into by the prior administration with Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Under the terms of these agreements, individuals seeking to apply for asylum in the US could be denied this opportunity and sent to one of the above countries to apply for asylum there. This could be done even if the applicant did not pass through any of these countries on their way to the US.
If you would like to talk to an attorney to discuss your immigration options, contact Attorney Evelyn J. Pabon Figueroa at (407) 647-7887 or firstname.lastname@example.org.