Two-thousand-twenty-two was a year full of challenges and changes from the policies that were implemented in the previous presidential administration. 2022 was really the opportunity to see what the Biden administration had planned, and the changes implemented. Here is our year-end review, a timeline of all the must-know immigration events from 2022.
January 6: U.S. began to return migrants to Tijuana, Mexico under rebooted Trump-era Policy (Migrant Protection Protocols).
January 11: SCOTUS took up a bid to end the indefinite detention of immigrants.
January 31: Texas sued the Biden Administration to halt a program that reunites Central American children with parents in the U.S.
February 4: After review, the U.S. maintained the trump-era border policy (Title 42) of expelling migrants, citing Omicron as the reason.
February 23: U.S. Supreme Court considered Republican bid to defend Trump immigration rule that would bar permanent residency for immigrants deemed likely to need government benefits.
March 1: The Dignity Act was introduced, a complete immigration reform bill consisting of 3 core principles: stopping illegal immigration, providing a dignified solution for immigrants living in America, and strengthening the American workforce and economy.
March 3: U.S. Chamber of Commerce joined Bipartisan Coalition to urge immigration reform ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
March 4: Florida Senate passed an immigration bill that would force local law enforcement agencies to contract with federal immigration authorities to detain undocumented immigrants.
March 7: A Judge in Texas barred the Biden administration from exempting unaccompanied migrant children from border deportation policies.
March 11: ICE implemented a new system to monitor immigrants released from detention centers using a smartphone app.
March 16: Biden administration extended immigration relief under humanitarian relief to Afghans in the U.S.
March 23: Judge ruled against Biden administration orders for ICE deportation agents that instructed them to prioritize certain groups of immigrants for arrest and deportation.
March 24: Biden Administration prepared sweeping changes to the asylum process. Under the new policy, some migrants seeking asylum will have their claims heard and evaluated by asylum officers instead of immigration judges.
March 29: U.S. immigration agency moved to cut 9.5 million-case backlog and speed up the processing by expanding the number of applicants who can pay extra fees to have their immigration petitions adjudicated more quickly and propose a rule that would provide relief to immigrants waiting for work permit renewals and set processing time goals.
April 4: The Biden Administration announced the end of its pandemic border restrictions (Title 42) starting on May 23, 2022.
April 16: The U.S. designated Temporary Protected Status to Cameroon.
April 21: U.S. unveiled a sponsorship program to resettle Ukrainian refugees that had been displaced by the Russian invasion.
April 21: DHS extended Covid-19 vaccine requirements for migrants entering from Mexican and Canadian borders.
May 3: USCIS announced the automatic extension for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) to certain applicants, up to 540 days.
May 16: Supreme Court limited review of factual disputes in immigration cases, which made it more difficult for non-citizens in removal proceedings to get a federal court to review factual determinations that were made by an immigration court concerning relief from deportation.
May 20: A Federal Judge ruled that the CDC cannot proceed with plans to discontinue Title 42, a trump-era policy that would keep incoming immigrants in Mexico as they await court in the U.S.
May 25: Immigrants filed a lawsuit against USCIS over unreasonable delays and failure to process naturalization applications.
June 15: The Supreme Court dismissed a bid to defend Trump’s Immigration Plan. The case concerned revisions to the “public charge” rule that made it harder for immigrants who had relied on public assistance to gain permanent legal status. Under the Trump administration, the so-called public-charge rule made immigrants ineligible for permanent legal status if they used public benefits like Medicaid and food stamps.
June 24: House appropriators moved to extend Title 42 for another 6 months through the DHS budget before it can be abolished by the Biden Administration.
June 25: A Federal Judge in Texas ruled illegal a policy that prioritized the arrest of immigrants living in the country illegally who are considered a threat to public safety and national security.
June 30: The Supreme Court cleared Biden to end Trump’s “Title 42” policy, stating the Biden administration had the authority to reverse the policy.
July 25: The White House announced a plan to provide temporary ID cards to some undocumented immigrants as they await a decision on their removal proceedings.
August 1: The Supreme Court certified a ruling that put an end to Trump’s border policy (Title 42).
August 2: The White House authorized the completion of four gaps in the border wall in an open area of southern Arizona near Yuma, one of the busiest sectors for illegal crossings.
September 19: New York State launched a portal called Citizenshipworks to assist eligible immigrants to apply for naturalization for free.
September 28: U.S. extended Temporary Protected Status for Burma (Myanmar) through May 2024.
October 13: DHS announced a Venezuela Parole Program. The idea was modeled off the Uniting for Ukraine program that allowed people in the U.S. to privately sponsor Ukrainians, in this case allowing up to 24,000 Venezuelans to secure work authorization for up to two years. But along with the new program, the U.S. said it will now expel Venezuelans who cross the border from Mexico.
October 17: A Federal Judge ruled for the current DACA immigration program to continue temporarily, preventing the deportation of thousands of Immigrants in the U.S.
October 18: Immigration Court Judges threw out over 63,000 DHS cases because no “Notice to Appear” was filed by DHS. This means that one out of every six cases has been thrown out, for this reason, this past fiscal year.
October 24: DHS designated Temporary Protected Status for Ethiopia for 18 months due to their ongoing civil war.
October 26: U.S. removed Trump-era barriers to citizenship test waivers for disabled immigrants to make the process more accessible and simpler.
October 31: The Justice Department announced that it had reached a settlement agreement with the Giant Company LLC, a Pennsylvania-based grocery store chain with locations in various states. The settlement resolved the dispute that Giant discriminated against non-U.S. citizen workers when checking their permission to work in the U.S., in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
December 2: ICE mistakenly released the names and other identifying details of 6,252 migrants seeking protection in the United States. The error raised fears for their safety among advocates for asylum seekers.
As we navigate 2023, we are curious to see what this new year will bring to the ever-changing U.S. immigration system.