Submit Content

Statutes of Liberty: Immigration crystal ball 2022

This sponsored column is by Law Office of James Montana PLLC. All questions about it should be directed to James Montana, Esq., Doran Shemin, Esq., and Laura Lorenzo, Esq., practicing attorneys at The Law Office of James Montana PLLC, an immigration-focused law firm located in Arlington, Virginia. The legal information given here is general in nature. If you want legal advice, contact us for an appointment.

Last month, we gave you our review of what 2021 brought to the wild world of immigration law. This month, we want to give you a peek into the crystal ball and tell you what we think 2022 will bring.

Fee Increases

We predict that DHS will succeed in increasing its fees, though not to the extent proposed during the Trump Administration. This fee increase will have two parts — increases to fees paid to the State Department for visa applications, like student visas and visitor visas — and increases to fees paid directly to USCIS for all sorts of immigration benefits, including green cards, work permits, naturalization and employment-based visas. It is quite possible that USCIS will expand the availability of Premium Processing for additional types of employment-based immigration benefits.

Whether USCIS needs the additional money is a tough question. It is beyond dispute that delays have skyrocketed. Whether additional money would solve the problem is a matter of dispute; we tend to think that USCIS’s problems are operational, not financial.

Immigration Courts Open for Business

The Immigration Courts — including our local court in Arlington — have opened and closed as the waves of COVID have swept through our area. At the moment, the Omicron variant has led the Arlington Immigration Court to stop holding crowded preliminary hearings, but trials (“individual hearings”) are continuing as normal.

Making predictions about the immigration courts means making predictions about COVID, which means making a fool of yourself in public. Fortunately, as Statutes of Liberty readers know, we’re more than willing to do that.

We predict that the Omicron variant will have little impact on the functioning of the immigration courts. Trials will continue. Perhaps the immigration court backlog will even begin to decline. Hope is the thing with feathers –/that perches in the soul…

Asylum Backlogs Will Get Worse

Several factors will combine to make U.S. asylum offices even more backlogged than they are now. First of all, the Remain in Mexico program will die. Litigation to preserve it cannot, in the long run, prevail against the Biden Administration’s deep unhappiness about being forced to continue it. Second, as COVID-related restraining measures slowly are repealed, the continued use of Title 42 will end, either voluntarily or by injunction. The end of those two programs will make it easier to come to the U.S. to seek asylum, and the incredibly tight labor market will increase the financial incentive to do so.

We respect our local asylum office and appreciate the work of asylum officers, but we have no confidence that DHS will staff up the asylum offices sufficiently to cope with any increase in applications.

Immigration Reform Won’t Happen

Congress last acted to reform U.S. immigration law, in a significant way, in 1965. That was a long time ago; the distance between 1965 and the present is the span between 1965 and the Roosevelt Administration (TR, not FDR).

Immigration reform came close to happening in Build Back Better. It came closer in 2004. It won’t happen this year. Legislative action to formalize DACA into a permanent status won’t happen either. We’ll continue to muddle through.

Do you have predictions about what will happen next year? Tell us in the comments. As always, we welcome your thoughts and questions and will do our best to respond.

Recent Stories

(Updated at 7:55 a.m.) Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse caught fire after a car barreled into it at the height of dinnertime Friday. The fire is now out after a…

After a steamy stretch, Mother Nature is rewarding us with a pair of new-perfect days. We hope you are able to get out there and enjoy the weather tonight and…

Adoptable Pet of the Week: Kimchi

The adorable Kimchi, a black and white Guinea Pig is the newest Adoptable Pet of the Week.

Open Houses includes a 1 BD/1 BA condo with an open floorplan and granite countertops listed at $350,000.

Do you struggle with anxiety, depression, stress, grief, trauma or anger? Are
you ready to make a change?

Lauren K. Nickum, LCSW, CSAC from Peaceful Mind Solutions is now taking new
clients for psychotherapy. Lauren has over 10 years of experience treating
mental health disorders and general life stress in adults and adolescents. For
more information visit
peacefulmindsolutions.com.

Submit your own Community Post here.

(This Community Post was written by Signature Theatre and underwritten by Embracing Arlington Arts.)

Signature Theatre just released single tickets for all 33rd season productions, which highlights the organization’s long-time relationship with legendary composer Stephen Sondheim. Beginning with the musical adaptation of The Color Purple and irreverent No Place to Go, the season continues with three Sondheim musicals, the DC premieres of Off-Broadway hit Which Way to the Stage and Pulitzer Prize finalist Selling Kabul, the Tony Award®-winning rock musical Passing Strange, and return of Signature’s cabaret series honoring legendary artists.

“Last November, the world lost an icon. The death of Stephen Sondheim was a blow to everyone in the theater community. Signature Theatre would not be the same without Sondheim — he IS Signature’s ‘signature.’ This season, we are honoring the legend with productions of Into the Woods, Pacific Overtures and Sweeney Todd dedicated to his memory. These shows represent the diversity and range of Sondheim,” said Signature’s Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner about the new season.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Azure Dream Day Spa Grand Opening

Azure Dream Day Spa is hosting their Grand Opening Celebration at their beautiful new spa located at 901 N. Quincy St. on Friday, August 12 from 5-9 p.m.

All are invited to come tour the new spa and to take

Running & Strength Training Group Workout #1

Join our first workout of Coach Kate’s fall Running & Strength Training Program on Tuesday, August 30 at 6:30 a.m. at Oak Grove Park.

First/trial session is Free Of Charge. If you would like to join the program — which

×

Subscribe to our mailing list