House Judiciary Immigration Proposal Moves Forward

On September 13, the House Judiciary Committee marked up a legislative proposal as part of the Budget Reconciliation process. The proposal included the following immigration provisions:  

  • Legalization Provisions: Would allow approximately 8 million people to qualify for green cards; 7 million of those are undocumented individuals, DACA recipients, and TPS holders. The remaining 1 million individuals currently have nonimmigrant status. The fee to apply for a green card in these categories is $1,500.00

    • Requirements for Dreamers 
      • Physical presence in the U.S. on January 1, 2021; 
        • 18 years old or younger on the initial date of entry into the U.S.; and either:
        • Has a record of honorable service in the Uniformed Services of the U.S.,
        • Has attained a degree from a higher education institution or a postsecondary credential from an area career and technical education school, or has completed at least two years of a program, 
        • Can demonstrate consistent earned income over the 3 years before application, or 
        • Is enrolled in a higher education institution of a postsecondary program and is currently employed or participating in an internship, apprenticeship, or similar program. 
        • Children enrolled in school (pre-school or K-12) will have a stay of removal until they can qualify for adjustment of status under the bill. 
    • Requirements for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) Holders
      • Continuous physical presence in the U.S. for at least 3 years;
      • Had TPS or was eligible for TPS on January 1, 2017; DED as of January 20, 2021
      • Has not engaged in conduct that would make an individual ineligible for TPS or DED. 
    • Requirements for Farm Workers and other Essential Workers
      • Continuous physical presence in the U.S. since January 1, 2021; and 
      • A consistent record of earned income in an occupation described in the Aug 10, 2021, DHS memo titled ‘Advisory Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID–19 Response, during the period beginning on January 31, 2020, and ending on August 24, 2021. 
        • Essential workers that fit under the DHS definition perform a range of operations and services the government deems essential to continued critical infrastructure operations, such as staffing, maintaining, and repairing operations and supply chains. It includes healthcare workers, first responders, farm workers, culinary workers, domestic workers, home care workers, janitors, food processors and deliverers, and others specifically delineated in the DHS memo.
      • Ineligibility Criteria 
        • If an individual has committed certain crimes, were a security risk, or were inadmissible or removable on certain other grounds.
        • There is a broad waiver for ineligibility for humanitarian reasons. 
  • Recapture of Unused Green Cards, Restoring the Availability of Immigrant Visas 
    • Recaptures the visas lost due to slow technical processing or other issues going back to 1992, restoring around 500,00 unused visa reconciliations as Congress previously intended this system to work. 
    • This will help alleviate existing family and employment visa backlogs; most of the recaptured visas will go to family-based visas.
  • Diversity Visas 
    • Offer diversity visas to people selected in the diversity visa lottery but denied visas due to the travel bans resulting from Executive Order 13769, Executive Order 13780, Presidential Proclamation 9645, or Presidential Proclamation 9983 and COVID-19 related disruption. 
    • Diversity Visa applicants who were selected but unable to claim visas due to the Muslim Ban will have the ability to reapply. 
  • Investment in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 
    • Includes $2.8 billion to increase capacity at USCIS to support the adjudication of applications and reduce processing backlog


Erickson Insights

Erickson Immigration Group is proud to share of-the-moment government updates from our Government Affairs team, led by a former USCIS Chief Policy Director (Obama​ administration), a US State Department Consular Chief, and our trusted partners on Capitol Hill.

Given the dynamic nature of the legislation process, EIG will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting or case-specific questions, please contact your EIG attorney.