This Week In Immigration – Week of April 12, 2021

This Week In Immigration

4-12-2021 – President Joe Biden faces a massive backlog of nearly 2.6 million visa applications. Backlogs in some immigrant-visa categories are 50 or even 100 times higher than at the start of the Trump administration, much of it due to the federal court shut down during the Covid-19 lockdown. The backlog includes nearly half a million applicants who have filed and a ready for interviews immediately.  To combat the backlog, President Joe Biden has moved to reverse many of his predecessor’s anti-immigration policies, while looking to reopen and expand the processing through immigration court.

4-12-21 – In a policy reversal the State Department said that in places that are subject to regional pandemic travel restrictions, it will now let people seeking immigrant and fiancee visas go ahead and apply. Secretary of State Antony Blinken determined that “it is in the national interest” to exempt those applicants from the restrictions.

4-12-21 – President Biden has raised the refugee cap for this fiscal year to 62,500, as his administration proposed back in February. Biden also proposed a target cap of 125,000 for the fiscal year starting in October, up from Trump’s 2020 cap of 15,000, the lowest level ever.


4-12-2021 President Joe Biden has nominated Ur Mendoza Jaddou to serve as the Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. She is a daughter of immigrants, her father is from Iraq, and her mother from Mexico while being born and raised in Chula Vista, California.  Previously she was the Director of DHS Watch, a project of America’s Voice, where she worked to expose policies and administration that failed to adhere to basic principles of good governance, transparency, and accountability.  She is an adjunct professor of law at American University, Washington College of Law, and counsel at Potomac Law Group, PLLC.  Previously, from June 2014 to January 2017 Jaddou was the Chief Counsel for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  Jaddou’s experience on immigration policy began as counsel to U.S. House of Representative Zoe Lofgren (2002-2007) and later as Chief Counsel to the House Immigration Subcommittee chaired by Rep. Lofgren (2007-2011).  Jaddou has also served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional, Global, and Functional Affairs in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Department of State (2012-2014).  She received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Stanford University and a law degree from UCLA School of Law. 

4-16-2021 – The Supreme Court will hear the case of Jose Sanchez and Sonia Gonzalez who have lived in the United States legally for two decades under a program that lets immigrants from nations enduring natural disasters and armed conflict avoid being forced to return to their native countries. However, when they applied for permanent residence, their request was denied because they had illegally entered the US.  They sued to remain in the US and gain permanent resident status in 2015, and the case escalated to the Supreme court to be decided in the upcoming week.


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