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

More business immigrant visas may become available if the latest version of the Build Back Better reconciliation bill passes.

If approved by the Parliamentarian and passed as it stands, the bill would make more immigrant visas available by:

  • Recapturing unused visa numbers from 1992 to 2021;
  • Retaining the availability of Diversity Visas from fiscal

Efforts to pass “Dreamers” bills that would provide a pathway to citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients have remained stagnant. In an effort to stabilize the DACA program, absent congressional action, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published a proposed federal regulation announcing its intent to codify the DACA program.

The

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program (DACA) is not legal, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen has ruled in State of Texas et al. v. U.S. et al.

Judge Hanen issued an injunction preventing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from accepting new DACA applications. However, recognizing the substantial reliance interests involved, he allowed