Pending Legislation

S. 264 Dream Act of 2021 
Protects Dreamers who were brought to the United States as children and have lived in the U.S. for most of their lives from deportation and gives them an opportunity to obtain legal status if they meet certain requirements. Introduced on February 4. 2021 by S. Durbin (D-Illinois) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). 

H.R. 6: The Dream and Promise Act of 2021 
Allows Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients, and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients to apply for permanent legal status. Introduced on March 3, 2021 by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA). Similar bill passed the House last year on June 4, 2019. 

H.R. 1177 and S.348 U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 
Provides an earned pathway to citizenship, addresses the root causes of migration, how to responsibly manage the southern border, and to reform the immigrant visa system. Introduced on February 28, 2021 by Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) in the House and by S. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) on February 22, 2021 in the Senate.   

The bill itself is over 350 pages. Here are some highlights: 

  • Changes the term "alien" to "noncitizen"   
  • Individuals in the U.S. before 2021 could qualify for work authorization, travel permit and “lawful prospective Immigrant” status up to six years 
  • Increases the number of EB immigrants from 140,000 to 170,000 
  • Provides LPR status to: 
    • International students with PhDs in science, technology, engineering, and math fields from U.S. universities 
    • Noncitizens who entered the U.S. as children (e.g., "Dreamers" under DACA  program) 
    • Individuals with an approved immigrant petition for 10 years 
    • Agricultural workers who have performed labor during the immediately preceding five-year period for at least 2,300 hours or 400 work days 
    • Certain nationals of countries designated for temporary protected status or deferred enforced departure. 
  • Increases diversity green cards from 55,000 to 80,000 each year. 
  • Eliminates employment-based per-country levels. 
  • Increases immigrant visas for "other workers." 
  • Provides for the establishment of a procedure to temporarily limit admission of certain immigrants in geographic areas or labor market sectors that are experiencing high levels of unemployment. 
  • Establishes a pilot program for up to five years to admit annually up to 10,000 "admissible immigrants whose employment is essential to the economy.” 
  • Considers prioritizing nonimmigrant visas (including H-1B) based on the wages offered by employers. 
  • Allows work authorization for H-4 nonimmigrant spouses and children of H-1B nonimmigrants. 
  • Provides for expediting legitimate trade and travel at ports of entry. 
  • Authorizes employment for non-frivolous asylum applicants who are not detained.
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