This week in immigration news – March 30, 2022

U.S. immigration agency moves to cut 9.5 million-case backlog and speed up processing 

USCIS is aiming to chip away at the backlog of citizenship applications by pursuing three different policies. The first is that they would allow applicants to pay $2,500 to expedite their applications. They’re also extending the automatic work permit renewal period (currently work permits are valid for 180 days when they’re up for renewal, but oftentimes this isn’t enough time for a full renewal to be processed). Finally, they’re exploring hiring more USCIS officials to process applications. 

Processing the applications in a timely manner is important for people who may lose their jobs and driver’s licenses while they’re in legal limbo.  

Jill Biden marks Cesar Chavez Day at immigration ceremony in California 

On Monday, First Lady Jill Biden gave the Oath of Allegiance to 31 new Americans from nine different countries and spoke about Cesar Chavez’s legacy at the event.  

Biden budget accelerates shift from Trump policies on immigration 

President Biden’s budget proposal includes budget increases for both U.S. Customs and Border Protection and ICE. The administration has signaled a shift away from immigration policies embraced by the Trump administration in terms of pursuing alternatives to detention and cutting the number of beds in ICE detention. However, advocates are wary of the budget increases—the U.S. government continues to spend more on immigration enforcement than all other federal law enforcement agencies combined.