The Jumpstart Our Legal Immigration System Act (Jumpstart), introduced by Zoe Lofgren (D-Calf.) in the House of Representatives, if passed, could revolutionize the green card process. The legislation would recapture thousands of unused family- and employment-based visas and allow beneficiaries to expedite their processes by paying additional fees.

The Jumpstart Act would help to

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act passed the House of Representatives on April 1, 2022. If passed by the Senate and signed by the President, the bill would clear marijuana-related convictions from people’s records and remove marijuana from the federal controlled substances list. The bill specifically prohibits the denial of benefits and protections

Just as the Biden Administration is proposing increased funding for USCIS to help reduce the agency’s backlog, USCIS is announcing  future new actions to improve processing times.

USCIS:

  1. Plans to expand staffing, improve its technology, and establish new internal cycle time goals (the amount of time it takes to process a typical case). As the

A series of significant developments in U.S. immigration law has already marked the beginning of 2022 and more can be expected.  Please see our Legal Update for what to anticipate as the year progresses.

Congress is set to pass Omnibus spending legislation that includes reauthorization of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program, which has been suspended since June 2021.

The Regional Center Program allows eligible investors to apply for green cards if they make the necessary monetary investment and create or preserve at least 10 permanent full-time jobs

Massachusetts is on its way to joining 16 other states that grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.

On February 16, 2022, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed The Work and Family Mobility Act by an overwhelming majority vote of 120 to 36. The bill is expected to pass the Massachusetts Senate. It is not clear

In December 2021, Congressional Democrats tried to include immigration reforms in the Build Back Better Act (BBBA). Some of the proposals would have helped unauthorized immigrants by providing those eligible with parole and work authorization. The bill also would have reduced green card backlogs and provided some applicants with expedited green cards for a fee.

On February 4, 2022, the House of Representatives passed the American Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology, and Economic Strength Act  (known as the America COMPETES Act of 2022). The bill is aimed at “outcompeting China and the rest of the world in the 21st century.” Title III of the COMPETES Act adds

Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough has ruled for a third time that specific immigration provisions in the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) granting parole and work authorization to unauthorized aliens who entered the United States before January 1, 2011, cannot be included in the reconciliation bill because the policy changes outweigh the budgetary impact.

Unless Senate

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) (H.R. 5376) by a vote of 220–213. Supported by the Biden Administration and congressional Democrats, the controversial bill heads to the Senate with key immigration reform provisions.

Protections and Work Permits 

Section 60001 of the BBBA includes language that would amend