On Friday, September 10, 2021, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released a press statement announcing the Committee Print for the Committee markup (for the Committee members to debate and vote on amendments to the bill) on Monday, September 13, 2021, on legislative proposals under the budget reconciliation instructions.

Before becoming law, the Immigration Provisions would have to pass the Judiciary Committee, the House of Representatives, the Senate and ultimately be signed by President Joe Biden.

If the bill becomes law, it shall take effect on the earlier date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment or by May 1, 2022.

This is the most promising bill in decades and could allow more individuals to gain permanent resident status in the United States than the Immigration Reform in the mid-1980s.

Here are a few of the current details included on the legislative proposals under the budget reconciliation, but keep in mind that things may change while the bill is in the stages of the negotiation.

ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS OF CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS

The Secretary of Homeland Security shall allow certain individuals to apply for Lawful Permanent Resident Status, if he or she:

  • submits an application for adjustment of status;
  • pays any administrative processing fees, and a supplemental fee in the amount of $1,500;
  • completes satisfactory security and law enforcement background checks, and a medical examination

A DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA) RECIPIENT MAY QUALIFY, IF HE OR SHE:

  • has continuously been physically present in the United States since January 1, 2021;
  • was 18 years of age or younger on the date on which the alien entered the United States and has continuously resided in the United States since such entry.

In addition, a DACA Recipient must demonstrate:

  • current enrollment, attainment of, or completion of at least 2 years, in good standing of a program leading to a degree from a United States institution of higher education; or
  • a postsecondary credential from an area career and technical education school in the United States; or
  • that during the 3-year period immediately preceding the date on which the DACA recipient submits an application for adjustment of status, he or she has a consistent record of earned income in the United States; or
  • current employment or participation in an internship, apprenticeship, or similar training program; or
  • a record of honorable service in the Uniformed Services of the United States.

AN ESSENTIAL WORKER MAY QUALIFY, IF HE OR SHE:

A TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS (TPS) RECIPIENT MAY QUALIFY, IF HE OR SHE:

  • has continuously been physically present in the United States for no less than 3 years;
  • had or was otherwise eligible for TPS on January 1, 2017; and
  • has not engaged in conduct that would render him or her ineligible for TPS since that date.

A DEFERRED ENFORCED DEPARTURE (DED) RECIPIENT MAY QUALIFY, IF HE OR SHE:

  • has continuously been physically present in the United States for no less than 3 years;
  • had or was otherwise eligible for DED on January 20, 2021; and
  • has not engaged in conduct that would render him or her ineligible for DED since that date.

GROUNDS OF INELIGIBILITY. WHO IS INELIGIBLE?

An individual shall demonstrate that he or she is not inadmissible and has not been convicted of certain crimes. The following is a shortlist of some of the convictions that could make an individual ineligible:

  • Crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT), control substance, espionage, terrorism, security-related crimes, alien smuggling, draft evasion, polygamy, unlawful voter, international child adoption, and other serious crimes.
  • has not ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion;
  • has not been convicted of any offense under Federal or State law, other than a State offense for which an essential element is the alien’s immigration status, that is punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of more than 1 year; or
  • 3 or more convictions for offenses under Federal or State law (other than State offenses for which an essential element is the alien’s immigration status) for which the alien was convicted on different dates for each of the 3 offenses and imprisoned for an aggregate time of 90 days or more; and
  • has registered under the Military Selective Service Act, if the individual is subject to registration.

WAIVERS

Only individuals convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT), control substance, alien smuggling, student visa abuse, and unlawful voters can request a waiver for humanitarian purposes, family unity, or if the waiver is in the public interest.

REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS

With respect to an individual who is in removal proceedings or subject to a final order of removal or an order of voluntary departure; the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide the alien with a reasonable opportunity to apply for relief under this section, if the alien requests an opportunity to so apply or appears to be prima facie eligible for such relief.

FAMILY-BASED GREEN CARDS

A family-based Green Card Applicant that bears a priority date that is more than 2 years could request a waiver of the numerical limitations and could apply for adjustment of status by paying a supplemental fee of $2,500.

EMPLOYMENT-BASED GREEN CARDS

An employment-based Green Card Applicant that bears a priority date that is more than 2 years could request a waiver of the numerical limitations and could apply for adjustment of status by paying a supplemental fee of $5,000.

At this point, the slim Democratic majority in Congress is pushing forward with an ambitious plan to legalize millions of immigrants living in the United States without legal status through this budget bill that would circumvent the 60-vote threshold typically needed to pass major legislation in the U.S. Senate.





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