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While all eyes were on the midterm elections, the Joe Biden administration and a federal judge have been making major immigration news of their own.
Firstly, on Nov. 15, 2022, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan issued a decision vacating and ending Title 42, more than two and a half years after the purported public health policy went into effect. Judge Sullivan found that Title 42 was arbitrary and lacked reasoning because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had not properly justified the policy, nor had it supported the extreme measure of suspending immigration laws with sufficient evidence that the policy was necessary.
Sullivan ruled in Washington that enforcement must end immediately for families and single adults, calling the ban “arbitrary and capricious.” The administration has not applied it to children traveling alone.
Within hours, the Justice Department asked the judge to let the order take effect on Dec. 21, giving it five weeks to prepare. Judge Sullivan granted the Biden administration the delay to end far-reaching asylum restrictions, writing in upper-case letters that he was doing so “WITH GREAT RELUCTANCE.”
The Homeland Security Department said Wednesday that it would use the next five weeks to “prepare for an orderly transition to new policies at the border.”
“We continue to work with countries throughout the Western Hemisphere to take enforcement actions against the smuggling networks that entice migrants to take the dangerous and often deadly journey to our land borders and to address the root causes of irregular migration that are challenging our hemisphere as a whole,” the department said.
Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, director of policy for the American Immigration Council, welcomed the move, noting that “Title 42 was the greatest restriction on asylum since Congress passed the Refugee Act in 1980.”
“It was a failed border management policy that caused chaos along the border, immeasurable harm to innocent people seeking our protection, and diminished our standing on the world stage,” said Reichlin-Melnick. “Judge Sullivan’s decision is an important step toward ending the unjustified use of this policy, correctly recognising that the CDC has never properly justified a wholesale suspension of normal immigration laws at the border. It is a long overdue step toward rebuilding a humanitarian protection system at the border that is safe, humane, and orderly.
But critics say the order could see a new escalation in people coming over the Southern border with as many as 18,000 people crossing per day to apply for asylum in the U.S.
A day later, Nov. 16, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would extend through June 30, 2024, the employment authorization documentation for TPS (Temporary Protected Status) beneficiaries from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan. The decision came just weeks before the current expiration date of Dec. 31, 2022.
TPS beneficiaries eligible for automatic EAD extensions to June 30, 2024, under the new announcement may complete or update their I-9 employment eligibility records by providing an employer with a copy of the Federal Register notice, an eligible expiring or expired TPS EAD, and any other required I-9 documents.
Haiti benefits from a subsequent, separate TPS designation were announced in August 2021. The new Haiti designation extends through Feb. 3, 2023, and all those eligible are encouraged to register, including those with Haitian TPS under the prior designation.
Sudan benefits from a subsequent, separate TPS designation were announced in April 2022. The new Sudan designation extends through Oct. 19, 2023, and all those eligible are encouraged to register, including those with Sudan TPS under the prior designation.
Meanwhile, international students are reportedly returning to the United States after a significant drop during the pandemic, according to the Open Doors 2022 Report on International Educational Exchange. This comes as the Biden administration also says it has reduced wait times worldwide for nonimmigrant visa interviews. (Amsterdam News)