In a recent update on September 20, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) outlined vital actions aimed at strengthening border security and improving work authorization processing:
1. Border Enforcement and Combating Smuggling
DHS is aggressively targeting human smugglers and drug traffickers, with nearly 17,000 arrests leading to over 2,000 indictments and 1,500 convictions. This underscores their commitment to enforcing immigration laws.
2. Military Support for Border Efforts
The Department of Defense is deploying additional military personnel to bolster DHS efforts. This includes 800 new active-duty personnel, allowing Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents to focus on core missions.
3. Expediting Family Removals Nationwide
The Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM) program has been expanded nationwide, ensuring families without a lawful basis for staying in the U.S. are swiftly processed for removal within 30 days.
4. Capacity Expansion and International Partnerships
DHS has increased its holding capacity to manage the processing and removal of noncitizens without lawful status. Additionally, partnerships with other countries have streamlined the return process for over 253,000 individuals.
5. Improved Work Authorization Processing
USCIS is taking steps to expedite Employment Authorization Document (EAD) processing, reducing the processing time to 30 days for specific categories. Longer EAD validity periods aim to reduce renewal frequency.
6. Temporary Protected Status Extended for Venezuela
TPS for Venezuela has been extended for 18 months due to ongoing challenges in the country. This provides temporary protection from removal and work authorization eligibility for Venezuelan nationals in the U.S.
These actions are part of the Administration's ongoing efforts to manage immigration challenges while advocating for comprehensive immigration reform in Congress. They aim to create a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system and expand lawful pathways for immigration.