The biggest immigration stories of 2023


2023 has been another difficult year for the US immigration system. The Biden administration has struggled to manage a record number of crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border. changes in the business immigration space, and more. Let’s dive into some of the biggest immigration stories of 2023.

US borders record record number of crossings

US-Mexico border

Migration and border policy were at the forefront of US immigration in 2023. After more than three years, the controversial Trump-era border policy Title 42 ended on May 11triggering broader questions about border restrictions and how to manage increased migration to the United States.

In a post-Title 42 world, the Biden administration has struggled to manage record numbers of migrant crossings at the Mexican and Canadian borders. According to the official U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recordings, CBP officers encountered an estimated 2.5 million migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2023. Canadian border crossings also reached record levels over the past year, despite dangerous conditions and freezing temperatures during the winter months. The last CBP The figures show 189,402 encounters at the northern border in 2023, which includes illegal crossings and those arriving at legal ports of entry.

Throughout 2023, the Biden administration has faced increasing pressure from fellow Democrats and regional leaders to address the root cause of record migration from Latin America. Biden has consistently promised stronger economic partnerships with Latin American countries to address immigration issues and strengthen regional trade, but critics say the president has failed to deliver on that promise in 2023.

Following domestic and foreign political pressure, the Biden administration introduced a number of policies Immigration advocates have denounced such measures, comparing them to the harsh border policies of the former Trump administration.

Despite continued border challenges, Biden also opened more legal immigration pathways for migrants in 2023, expanding the country’s reach. humanitarian parole programs And Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for several countries.

The year of fee increases

In early 2023, USCIS unveiled a proposal increase application fees for various categories of immigrants to the United States. While initial media coverage has focused on substantial price increases for employment-based visas like the H-1B, family-based immigration applications would also face significant increases. This includes a notable doubling of total fees for many marriage-related green card applications, from $1,760 to more than $3,640. In addition, fees for accompanying children will no longer be reduced, bringing them in line with the application fees for adults.

Many in the immigration industry expected fees to rise because the agency is required to review its immigration fee structure every two years. Given that USCIS relies on filing fees for approximately 96% of its funding and has not introduced new fees since 2016, the proposed adjustments are intended to address financial considerations and support agency operations.

In addition to the fee changes for U.S.-based applications to USCIS, the U.S. Department of State has also increase fees for certain nonimmigrant visas in 2023. So far, USCIS has not announced when the new filing fees will take effect, but immigration experts predict that the price increase could be formalized at the beginning of 2024.

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U.S. immigrant populations are growing and changing

In 2023, the immigrant population in the United States continued to experience unprecedented growth and transformation. The immigrant population in the United States has reached a record level last year, with experts attributing the growth to several factors, including a gradual restart of visa processing, which had slowed during the COVID-19 pandemic. As more immigrant visas were issued in 2023, immigration experts hoped the U.S. immigration system would work more efficiently, with more people admitted after a period of restricted immigration.

The Biden administration’s efforts to welcome tens of thousands of people under new humanitarian parole programs in 2023 also contributed to this increase, in addition to a migration surge on the US-Mexico border.

New studies on immigrant communities in the United States also provided a comprehensive picture of the changing dynamics within this diverse group, highlighting both the challenges and opportunities that accompany a changing demographic landscape. In 2023, the undocumented immigrant population in the United States has seen significant changes, with almost every region of the world experiencing a steady increase in migration to the United States.

Changes to business immigration

Interested in the field of business immigration? Check some of the top business immigration stories of 2023 and what U.S. employers and foreign workers should expect in the year ahead.

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