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Crafting a Comprehensive Immigration Business Plan: Essential Elements for L-1 and E-2 Visa Success
Navigating L-1 and E-2 Visa Applications: The Role of a Tailored Business Plan
When applying for an L-1 Visa for a new office or an E-2 Visa for a novel business venture, presenting a meticulously crafted immigration business plan is crucial. Unlike standard business plans designed for banking or investment purposes, an immigration business plan must align with specific visa requirements. Here, we break down the essential elements that constitute a successful immigration business plan.
1. Business Overview
Your plan should start with a clear, comprehensive description of your business. This section serves as an introduction to the immigration officer, offering insight into what your business entails and its objectives.
2. Proof of Investment
Detail the financial commitment made towards the U.S. enterprise. This includes initial investments, operational costs, and projections, demonstrating your commitment to the success of the business.
3. Business Requirements
Showcase how your business complies with U.S. operational standards, including necessary licenses, permits, and compliance with local and federal regulations.
4. Employment Outlook
Illustrate your business’s potential to create jobs for U.S. workers. Include an organizational chart, future hiring plans, job descriptions, and projected growth that highlight the positive impact on the U.S. labor market.
5. Sufficient Physical Premises
Demonstrate that you have secured a physical location in the U.S. that is apt for your business operations, be it an office, a retail space, or a manufacturing unit.
6. Market Analysis and Strategy
Conduct and present a thorough market analysis along with a robust marketing strategy. This should reflect your business’s market viability, competitive edge, and long-term sustainability.
7. Ability to Develop and Direct
Highlight your ability to develop and direct the enterprise. This includes your educational background, relevant experience, and any unique skills or insights that contribute to the business’s success.
Consult the Experts
Crafting an immigration-specific business plan requires a nuanced understanding of visa requirements and business dynamics. If you’re not well-versed in this area, it’s advisable to engage with professional immigration business plan writers. Their expertise can significantly enhance your L-1 or E-2 visa application, ensuring that all necessary criteria are proficiently addressed.
The Bottom Line
A well-conceived business plan is more than just a document; it’s a testament to your commitment and capability to contribute to the U.S. economy. Remember, the strength of your business plan can be a decisive factor in the approval of your visa application.
Additional Outside Resources
- 9 FAM E Visas: Treaty Traders and Investors
- 9 FAM L1 Visas for Intracompany Transferees
- USCIS: E Visas for Treaty Traders and Investors
- USCIS: L Visas for Intracompany Transferees
- Matter of Ho – Business Plan Requirements
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You may have questions regarding U.S. immigration laws and visas. We invite you to reach out to our team at Richards and Jurusik for detailed guidance and assistance. Our goal is to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information to make your immigration process smoother and less stressful. The immigration lawyers at Richards and Jurusik have decades of experience helping people to work and live in the United States. Read some of our hundreds of 5-star client reviews ! Contact us today for an assessment of your legal situation.
Path to a Green Card After Visa Overstay and Unauthorized Work in the US
Learn about the potential for obtaining a green card through marriage for those who have overstayed their visa and worked without authorization in the United States.
Unlocking Opportunities: A Comprehensive Guide to O-1 Visa Categories and Criteria
Dive into the world of O-1 visas, tailored for exceptional professionals in various fields. From arts to athletics, understand the criteria, categories, and the potential for accompanying family members. Find out if you qualify as an extraordinary professional and embark on the path to an O-1 visa.
Understanding Employer’s Wage Obligations for Part-Time H-1B Workers
This post discusses the employer’s wage obligations for part-time H-1B workers, hourly wages, average work hours, and adherence to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Navigating TN Visa Eligibility for Fellowships and Internships under USMCA (NAFTA)
Embarking on fellowships or internships in the United States as a foreign national involves deciphering the intricacies of TN visa eligibility. This blog dissects the legal landscape, outlining the conditions under which TN visa status can be secured for professional-level duties in fellowships or internships.
Understanding USCIS’ Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC Decision: A Guide to Amended H-1B Petitions
The USCIS Administrative Appeals Office decision in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC significantly impacts H-1B petitioners and beneficiaries. This article delves into the implications of this ruling, detailing when an amended or new H-1B petition is required due to changes in the employee’s place of employment.
Can I work for multiple employers on an R-1?
If you’re on an R-1 Religious Worker visa and considering working for multiple employers in the United States, understanding the specific rules and exceptions is crucial. While the standard guidelines usually restrict you to working for the sponsoring religious organization, there are exceptions allowing multiple employers within the same denomination or different locations. Navigating these rules is essential for maintaining your R-1 visa status.
Read our research on: Immigration & Migration | Podcasts | Election 2024
Regions & Countries
Key facts about u.s. immigration policies and biden’s proposed changes.
Since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, his administration has acted on a number of fronts to reverse Trump-era restrictions on immigration to the United States. The steps include plans to boost refugee admissions , preserving deportation relief for unauthorized immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and not enforcing the “ public charge ” rule that denies green cards to immigrants who might use public benefits like Medicaid.
Biden has also lifted restrictions established early in the coronavirus pandemic that drastically reduced the number of visas issued to immigrants. The number of people who received a green card declined from about 240,000 in the second quarter of the 2020 fiscal year (January to March) to about 79,000 in the third quarter (April to June). By comparison, in the third quarter of fiscal 2019, nearly 266,000 people received a green card.
Biden’s biggest immigration proposal to date would allow more new immigrants into the U.S. while giving millions of unauthorized immigrants who are already in the country a pathway to legal status. The expansive legislation would create an eight-year path to citizenship for the nation’s estimated 10.5 million unauthorized immigrants , update the existing family-based immigration system, revise employment-based visa rules and increase the number of diversity visas . By contrast, President Donald Trump’s administration sought to restrict legal immigration in a variety of ways, including through legislation that would have overhauled the nation’s legal immigration system by sharply reducing family-based immigration.
The Biden administration has proposed legislation that would create new ways for immigrants to legally enter the United States. The bill would also create a path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants living in the country.
To better understand the existing U.S. immigration system, we analyzed the most recent data available on federal immigration programs. This includes admission categories for green card recipients and the types of temporary employment visas available to immigrant workers. We also examined temporary permissions granted to some immigrants to live and work in the country through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status programs.
This analysis relies on data from various sources within the U.S. government, including the Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Department of State, Federal Register announcements and public statements from the White House.
The Senate is considering several immigration provisions in a spending bill, the Build Back Better Act , that the House passed in November 2021. While passage of the bill is uncertain – as is the inclusion of immigration reforms in the bill’s final version – the legislation would make about 7 million unauthorized immigrants eligible to apply for protection from deportation, work permits and driver’s licenses.
Amid a record number of migrant encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border, Biden reinstated in December 2021 a Trump-era policy that requires those who arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border and seek asylum to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed. Biden had earlier ended the Migration Protection Protocols , or “Remain in Mexico” policy, and then restarted it after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lawsuit by Texas and Missouri that challenged the program’s closure. Asylum seekers do not receive a legal status that allows them to live and work in the U.S. until the claim is approved.
Overall, more than 35 million lawful immigrants live in the U.S.; most are American citizens. Many live and work in the country after being granted lawful permanent residence, while others receive temporary visas available to students and workers. In addition, roughly 1 million unauthorized immigrants have temporary permission to live and work in the U.S. through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status programs.
Here are key details about existing U.S. immigration programs, as well as Biden’s proposed changes to them:
In fiscal 2019, nearly 710,000 people received lawful permanent residence in the U.S. through family sponsorship. The program allows someone to receive a green card if they already have a spouse, child, sibling or parent living in the country with U.S. citizenship or, in some cases, a green card. Immigrants from countries with large numbers of applicants often wait for years to receive a green card because a single country can account for no more than 7% of all green cards issued annually.
Biden’s proposal would expand access to family-based green cards in a variety of ways, such as by increasing per-country caps and clearing application backlogs. Today, family-based immigration – referred to by some as “ chain migration ” – is the most common way people gain green cards, in recent years accounting for about two-thirds of the more than 1 million people who receive green cards annually.
The U.S. admitted only 11,411 refugees in fiscal year 2021, the lowest number since Congress passed the 1980 Refugee Act for those fleeing persecution in their home countries. The low number of admissions came even after the Biden administration raised the maximum number of refugees the nation could admit to 62,500 in fiscal 2021 . Biden has increased the refugee cap to 125,000 for fiscal 2022, which started on Oct. 1, 2021.
The low number of admissions in recent years is due in part to the ongoing pandemic. The U.S. admitted only about 12,000 refugees in fiscal 2020 after the country suspended admissions during the coronavirus outbreak . This was down from nearly 54,000 in fiscal 2017 and far below the nearly 85,000 refugees admitted in fiscal 2016, the last full fiscal year of the Obama administration.
The recent decline in refugee admissions also reflects policy decisions made by the Trump administration before the pandemic. Trump capped refugee admissions in fiscal 2020 at 18,000 , the lowest total since Congress created the modern refugee program in 1980.
Employment-based green cards
In fiscal 2019, the U.S. government awarded more than 139,000 employment-based green cards to foreign workers and their families. The Biden administration’s proposed legislation could boost the number of employment-based green cards, which are capped at about 140,000 per year . The proposal would allow the use of unused visa slots from previous years and allow spouses and children of employment-based visa holders to receive green cards without counting them against the annual cap. These measures could help clear the large backlog of applicants. The proposed legislation also would eliminate the per-country cap that prevents immigrants from any single country to account for more than 7% of green cards issued each year.
Each year, about 50,000 people receive green cards through the U.S. diversity visa program , also known as the visa lottery. Since the program began in 1995, more than 1 million immigrants have received green cards through the lottery, which seeks to diversify the U.S. immigrant population by granting visas to underrepresented nations. Citizens of countries with the most legal immigrant arrivals in recent years – such as Mexico, Canada, China and India – are not eligible to apply.
The Biden administration has proposed legislation to increase the annual total to 80,000 diversity visas. Trump had sought to eliminate the program .
In fiscal 2019, more than 188,000 high-skilled foreign workers received H-1B visas . H-1B visas accounted for 22% of all temporary visas for employment issued in 2019. This trailed only the H-2A visa for agricultural workers, which accounted for nearly a quarter (24%) of temporary visas. In all, nearly 2 million H-1B visas were issued from fiscal years 2007 to 2019.
The Biden administration is expected to review policies that led to increased denial rate s of H-1B visa applications under the Trump administration. In addition, Biden has delayed implementing a rule put in place by Trump that sought to prioritize the H-1B visa selection process based on wages, which would have raised the wages of H-1B recipients overall. Biden also proposed legislation to provide permanent work permits to spouses of H-1B visa holders. By contrast, the Trump administration had sought to restrict these permits. The Trump administration also created an electronic registration system that led to a record number of applicants for fiscal 2021.
A relatively small number of unauthorized immigrants who came to the U.S. under unusual circumstances have received temporary legal permission to stay in the country. One key distinction for this group of immigrants is that, despite having received permission to live in the U.S., most don’t have a path to gain lawful permanent residence. The following two programs are examples of this:
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
About 636,000 unauthorized immigrants had temporary work permits and protection from deportation through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, as of Dec. 31, 2020. One of Biden’s first actions as president was to direct the federal government to take steps to preserve the program , which Trump had tried to end before the Supreme Court allowed it to remain in place . DACA recipients, sometimes called “Dreamers,” would be among the undocumented immigrants to have a path to U.S. citizenship under Biden’s immigration bill. Senators have also proposed separate legislation that would do the same.
Temporary Protected Status
Overall, it is estimated that more than 700,000 immigrants from 12 countries currently have or are eligible for a reprieve from deportation under Temporary Protected Status, or TPS , a federal program that gives time-limited permission for some immigrants from certain countries to work and live in the U.S. The program covers those who fled designated nations because of war, hurricanes, earthquakes or other extraordinary conditions that could make it dangerous for them to live there.
The estimated total number of immigrants is based on those currently registered, in addition to those estimated to be eligible from Myanmar – also called Burma – and Venezuela.
Immigrants from Venezuela and Myanmar are newly eligible for TPS under changes made after Biden took office in January 2021 by the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the program. The government must periodically renew TPS benefits or they will expire. The department extended benefits into 2022 and beyond for eligible immigrants from nine nations: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. In addition, the Biden administration expanded eligibility for immigrants from Haiti based on recent turmoil.
Biden and congressional Democrats have proposed granting citizenship to certain immigrants who receive TPS benefits. Under Biden’s large immigration bill, TPS recipients who meet certain conditions could apply immediately for green cards that let them become lawful permanent residents. The proposal would allow TPS holders who meet certain conditions to apply for citizenship three years after receiving a green card, which is two years earlier than usual for green-card holders. By contrast, the Trump administration had sought to end TPS for nearly all beneficiaries, but was blocked from doing so by a series of lawsuits.
Note: This is an update of a post originally published March 22, 2021.
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About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts .
U.S. Government Accountability Office
Immigration Enforcement: ICE Can Further Enhance Its Planning and Oversight of State and Local Agreements
Under its 287(g) program, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement can enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies to help enforce immigration laws. Since 2017, the program expanded from 35 to about 150 agreements and ICE now has two models in which such law enforcement agencies can participate.
We found that ICE has some policies and procedures to oversee and manage the partner agreements, but it does not have goals or measures to assess program performance or have an oversight mechanism for the partner agencies in its newer program model.
Our 3 recommendations to ICE address these and other issues.
What GAO Found
Within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) met its goal to expand the 287(g) program. However, ICE has not established performance goals that cover all program activities, such as ICE's oversight of its law enforcement agency (LEA) partners, or measures to assess the program's performance, such as the percentage of LEA partners in compliance with annual training requirements. As a result, ICE is not well-positioned to determine the extent to which the program is achieving intended results.
ICE considers a number of factors, such as LEAs' capability to act as an ICE force multiplier, when reviewing their suitability to join the program; however, ICE has not assessed how to optimize the use of its resources and program benefits to guide its recruitment of future 287(g) participants. For example, ICE has two models in which LEAs can participate with varying levels of immigration enforcement responsibilities. In the Jail Enforcement Model (JEM), designated state or local officers identify and process removable foreign nationals who have been arrested and booked into the LEA's correctional facility, whereas in the Warrant Service Officer (WSO) model, the designated officers only serve warrants to such individuals. However, ICE has not assessed the mix of participants for each model that would address resource limitations, as each model has differing resource and oversight requirements. By assessing how to leverage its program resources and optimize benefits received, ICE could approach recruitment more strategically and optimize program benefits.
287(g) Participants in January 2017 and September 2020
ICE uses a number of mechanisms to oversee 287(g) JEM participants' compliance with their agreements, such as conducting inspections and reviewing reported complaints. However, at the time of GAO's review, ICE did not have an oversight mechanism for participants' in the WSO model. For example, ICE did not have clear policies on 287(g) field supervisors' oversight responsibilities or plan to conduct compliance inspections for WSO participants. An oversight mechanism could help ICE ensure that WSO participants comply with their 287(g) agreement and other relevant ICE policies and procedures.
Why GAO Did This Study
The 287(g) program authorizes ICE to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies to assist with enforcing immigration laws. The program expanded from 35 agreements in January 2017 to 150 as of September 2020.
GAO was asked to review ICE's management and oversight of the program. This report examines (1) the extent to which ICE has developed performance goals and measures to assess the 287(g) program; (2) how ICE determines eligibility for 287(g) program participation and considers program resources; and (3) how ICE conducts oversight of 287(g) program participant compliance and addresses noncompliance. GAO reviewed ICE policies and documentation, and interviewed officials from ICE headquarters and field offices. GAO also interviewed 11 LEAs selected based on the type of 287(g) agreement, length of participation, and facility type (e.g. state or local).While not generalizable, information collected from the selected LEAs provided insights into 287(g) program operations and oversight of program participants. GAO analyzed data on 287(g) inspection results and complaints from fiscal years 2015 through 2020.
GAO recommends that ICE (1) establish performance goals and related performance measures; (2) assess the 287(g) program's composition to help leverage its resources and optimize program benefits; and (3) develop and implement an oversight mechanism for the WSO model. DHS concurred with the recommendations.
Recommendations for Executive Action
Full report, gao contacts.
Rebecca S. Gambler Director [email protected] (202) 512-8777
Office of Public Affairs
Chuck Young Managing Director [email protected] (202) 512-4800
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The Immigrant Entrepreneurs’ Guide to Writing a Business Plan in the U.S.
Immigration & Living Abroad
Last updated on October 10th, 2023 at 11:24 pm
Writing a business plan is an important step for an entrepreneur who wants to launch a company of any size. If you dream of opening a business in the U.S. or Canada, a solid business plan can help you secure funding and prepare for the future.
Many immigrants open businesses in their new countries. Dru Ann B. is a Remitly customer who owns a small business that supports her family in Canada and back home in Jamaica. She says that a strong business plan made a huge difference for her. She recommends getting assistance from someone who’s written one before, saying, “a little direction or guidance from someone else goes a long way.”
Ready to get started? Here’s what you need to know.
What is a business plan?
A business plan is a document that maps out your vision for your business. It establishes your business objectives and then describes how you will achieve them.
Why is a business plan important?
Even if you have all the capital you need to start your business, a business plan can increase your chances of success. That’s because it clarifies your goals and timeline, plus can help you plan for issues that may arise.
Business plans allow you to:
- Establish clear company goals;
- Build a brand vision and create a compelling company description to market your business;
- Identify potential weaknesses and challenges ahead of time;
- Become familiar with current market conditions and your competitors; and
- Predict your income, costs, and budget needs.
The process of writing a business plan can help you put your best foot forward. Dru Anne B. notes that through your market research, you might discover that you “need to adjust your model.” That’s a good thing, she explains, because it means refining your idea before you actually invest.
Do you need a business plan to start an immigrant-owned business?
Any entrepreneur who wants to start a business in the U.S. can benefit from a business plan.
As an immigrant entrepreneur, a business plan may help you:
- Apply for grants aimed at immigrant-owned businesses;
- Apply for business loans through U.S. banks; and
- Seek private investors for startup capital.
What are the most common business plan formats?
Business plans come in two formats: long (traditional) and short (lean).
- Traditional business plans are long-form documents that consist of paragraphs and may also include tables and charts. They usually take longer to produce and edit, but some lenders only accept these types of plans.
- Lean business plans present information primarily through bulleted lists, tables, and charts. They are typically easier and faster to write. Prospective investors or lenders may ask you for additional information if you submit a lean business plan.
How do you write a traditional business plan?
A traditional business plan usually has nine sections : executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management, service or product line, marketing and sales, funding request, financial projections, and the appendix.
An executive summary provides a quick overview of your company. It lets the reader know what to expect from the rest of the document.
The executive summary includes:
- A mission statement that outlines the purpose of your company;
- An introduction to your product or service;
- Basic facts about your leadership team and employees; and
- The location of your company and where you work.
If you’ll be using your business plan to find funding, include a quick summary of financial information and growth plans in this section too.
The company description provides details about your business offerings.
Some things to include are:
- Who your customers are (who will use or purchase your product or service)
- What problems your product or service solves or what needs it fulfills
- Why your business can uniquely meet that need or solve that problem
Imagine that someone has asked you “Why does your business exist?” and “Why should I choose your business?”
These questions will help you describe the value of your new venture.
The market analysis section requires research. Start by identifying your key competitors.
Once you’ve found them, learn the following about their businesses:
- What do they charge for their products or services?
- How do they market their business?
- What are their strengths and areas of opportunity in this field?
- What are the ways that you can provide a better customer experience?
After you finish conducting your research, describe your findings in 1–2 paragraphs in your business plan.
Organization and management
This section describes how you will structure your business and what specific people or general roles you’ll have at your company.
Include the following:
- Business structure: Are you a sole proprietor? Will you establish a C or S corporation? Is your business a partnership or a limited liability corporation (LLC)? In addition to identifying the type of structure, explain why it works for your company. If you haven’t chosen a business structure yet, a business attorney or certified public accountant (CPA) can give you advice on which structure to choose.
- Basic organization chart: Provide an outline of the people who will hold management positions at your company. If you have already hired your management team, detail the key qualifications and skills that they bring to your business. You may also want to attach their resumes.
Service or product line
This section brings your product or service to life and allows the reader to thoroughly understand what you will be providing to your customers.
- Benefits of your product or service: Why will people buy it or use it? What will they love about it?
- Life cycle of your product or service: How often will people buy or use your product or service?
- Intellectual property information: Are you filing for a copyright or patent?
- Research and development: If you have conducted research and development, provide detailed information about it. Remember to include any pictures of your product as well.
Marketing and sales
Unlike the other sections of a business plan, the marketing and sales section has no set rules for writing. This section explains how you will tell customers about your company and encourage them to buy from you or use your service.
You may consider mentioning whether you plan to advertise with:
- Print media like newspapers
- Television commercials and segments
- Radio commercials and segments
- Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and TikTok
- Direct mail
- Email marketing
- Cross-promotions with other businesses
If you plan to hire a firm to handle your marketing, then make sure to mention that in this section too. Add the firm’s name and discuss the services they will provide.
In this section, you’ll let investors, financial institutions, or grants know how much funding you need to get your company off the ground.
Follow these steps when writing this part of your plan:
- State how much money you need to launch and operate your business for the first five years.
- Detail how you arrived at this figure.
- Identify any existing capital that you already have and its source(s).
- Outline the terms you’re looking for if you’re borrowing money.
- State what share of your company you are willing to give in exchange for an investment if you’re providing equity.
- Explain, in detail, how you will use the equity or borrowed funding. Will it pay salaries? Purchase equipment? Cover expenses until you begin to make profits?
- Add how you will pay off the debt or ensure a return on investment.
Providing realistic forecasts about how your company will perform is a compelling part of any business plan.
In this section, include:
- Income statements
- Balance sheets
- Cash flow statements
- Capital budgets
Begin with quarterly or monthly projections for the first year, and then make annual projections for the next four years. If you’re uncertain how to produce these documents, a CPA who specializes in startups can help you plan your forecasts.
This section is for any additional information and can include:
- Personal credit history
- Résumé for yourself and other key people in your business
- Letters of reference
- Other legal documents
The items in an appendix are labeled with a letter. For example, your personal credit history can have the header “Appendix A” and a letter of reference from a former employer can be “Appendix B.”
A few more tips
A business plan includes all the steps outlined above. Here are a few more tips to make your business plan stand out:
- Take a step-by-step approach.
- Highlight how many jobs your business will create.
- Hire a ghostwriter or proofreader.
- Ask a friend who isn’t familiar with your industry or product to read it over.
Your business plan won’t just help you launch your new company. It also serves as your roadmap for promoting and growing your small business after the launch. An up-to-date business plan can also make it easier to secure additional funding, purchase new equipment, or expand your offerings in the future.
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FACT SHEET: Biden- Harris Administration Announces New Border Enforcement Actions
New Measures Leverage Success of Venezuela Enforcement Initiative to Limit Disorderly and Unsafe Migration
While the courts have prevented the Title 42 public health order from lifting for now, the Biden-Harris Administration today is announcing new enforcement measures to increase security at the border and reduce the number of individuals crossing unlawfully between ports of entry. These measures will expand and expedite legal pathways for orderly migration and result in new consequences for those who fail to use those legal pathways. They also draw on the success of the Venezuela initiative, which launched in October 2022 and has resulted in a dramatic drop in the number of Venezuelan nationals attempting to enter the United States unlawfully. The Administration is also announcing that it is surging additional resources to the border and the region, scaling up its anti-smuggling operations, and expanding coordination and support for border cities and non-governmental organizations. Importantly, the actions announced today are being implemented in close partnership with Mexico and governments across the Western Hemisphere. While these steps will help address some of the most acute challenges at the Southwest border, they will not solve all of the problems in an immigration system that has been broken for far too long. That can only happen if Republicans in Congress who have spent the past two years talking about border security quit blocking the comprehensive immigration reform and border security measures President Biden proposed on his first day in office, and opposing the billions of dollars in additional funds the President has requested for border security and management. Unlike some Republican officials playing political games and obstructing real solutions to fix our broken immigration system, President Biden has a plan and is taking action. Under the new enforcement measures announced today, the Biden-Harris Administration will: Impose New Consequences for Individuals who Attempt to Enter Unlawfully To facilitate a return to the processing of all noncitizens under Title 8 authorities when Title 42 eventually lifts, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is :
- Increasing the Use of Expedited Removal. Effective immediately, individuals who attempt to enter the United States without permission, do not have a legal basis to remain, and cannot be expelled pursuant to Title 42 will be increasingly subject to expedited removal to their country of origin and subject to a five-year ban on reentry.
- Announcing New Measures to Encourage Individuals to Seek Orderly and Lawful Pathways to Migration. DHS and the Department of Justice today are announcing their intent to propose a new regulation that would encourage individuals to seek orderly and lawful pathways to migration and reduce overcrowding along the southwest border and the strain on the immigration system.
Expand Legal Pathways for Safe, Orderly, and Humane Migration The Biden-Harris Administration and its international partners in the region are also announcing new and expanded legal pathways to the United States and other countries that individuals can and should use to avoid consequences for crossing the border unlawfully. These include:
- Expanding the Parole Process for Venezuelans to Nicaraguans, Haitians, and Cubans. Today, the Biden Administration is announcing it will extend the successful Venezuela parole process and expand it to nationals of Nicaragua, Haiti, and Cuba. Up to 30,000 individuals per month from these four countries, who have an eligible sponsor and pass vetting and background checks, can come to the United States for a period of two years and receive work authorization. Individuals who irregularly cross the Panama, Mexico, or U.S. border after the date of this announcement will be ineligible for the parole process and will be subject to expulsion to Mexico, which will accept returns of 30,000 individuals per month from these four countries who fail to use these new pathways.
- Tripling Refugee Resettlement from the Western Hemisphere. The Biden-Harris Administration intends to welcome up to 20,000 refugees from Latin American and Caribbean countries during Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024, putting the United States on pace to more than triple refugee admissions from the Western Hemisphere this Fiscal Year alone. This delivers on the President’s commitment under the Los Angeles Declaration for Migration and Protection to scale up refugee admissions from the Western Hemisphere.
- Launching Online Appointment Portal to Reduce Overcrowding and Wait Times at U.S. Ports of Entry. When Title 42 eventually lifts, noncitizens located in Central and Northern Mexico seeking to enter the United States lawfully through a U.S. port of entry have access to the CBP One mobile application for scheduling an appointment to present themselves for inspection and to initiate a protection claim instead of coming directly to a port of entry to wait. This new feature will significantly reduce wait times and crowds at U.S. ports of entry and allow for safe, orderly, and humane processing.
- New Legal Pathways to Other Countries Across the Region. Countries across the Western Hemisphere are delivering on their commitments under the Los Angeles Declaration to expand legal immigration pathways. Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Belize are each implementing new regularization or temporary protection policies to provide legal status to hundreds of thousands of migrants. Canada, Mexico, and Spain have expanded refugee resettlement and temporary work opportunities. Mexico and Guatemala have also significantly grown their asylum system. Individuals are encouraged to avail themselves of this wide range of legal pathways in the region and avoid the dangerous consequences of irregular migration.
- Increasing Humanitarian Assistance in Mexico and Central America. The United States is announcing today nearly $23 million in additional humanitarian assistance in Mexico and Central America. This new assistance will help governments in the region respond to the increased humanitarian and protection needs of migrants, refugees and other vulnerable populations in their care. Recognizing that no one country can respond to these needs alone, this assistance will help support shelter, health, legal assistance, mental health and psychosocial support, water, sanitation, hygiene products, gender-based violence response, livelihoods, other protection related activities, and capacity building for partners.
Surge Resources to Secure the Border, Disrupt Criminal Smuggling Networks, and Support Border Communities The Biden-Harris Administration is surging resources and expanding efforts to securely manage the border, disrupt the criminal smuggling networks preying on vulnerable migrants, and support communities receiving migrants as they await their immigration enforcement proceedings. New and expanded efforts include:
- Mobilizing Record Resources for Safe, Orderly, and Humane Processing of Migrants. The Biden Administration is marshalling available authorities and resources from across the Federal Government to help ensure the border is secure and well-managed when the Title 42 public health order eventually lifts. DHS and DOJ are surging asylum officers and immigration judges to review asylum cases at the border more quickly – with the aim of reducing initial processing times from months to days. The two agencies are also expanding capabilities and technologies to support faster processing, including by installing hundreds of phone lines and privacy booths to conduct these interviews and proceedings. DHS is also hiring and deploying additional agents and officers to join the over 23,000 already working to secure the border. In addition, DHS is significantly scaling up its air and ground transportation capabilities to quickly remove migrants when warranted or transport migrants to less-congested border sectors for further immigration enforcement proceedings.
- Taking Thousands of Smugglers off the Streets and Countering Smuggler Misinformation. In Los Angeles earlier this year, President Biden announced a first-of-its kind operation against the multi-billion-dollar human smuggling industry. Since April, this operation has led to over 7,300 arrests, forcing many criminal smuggling organizations out of business. The Administration is also taking on the smuggler misinformation. The Department of State is expanding its paid and earned media outreach to ensure timely and accurate information is reaching migrants. Messaging and outreach will target high out-migration communities and migrant routes through relevant communications channels (e.g., radio, digital, trusted partners, and more.) with an estimated reach of over 85 million potential migrants
- Expanding Coordination with and Support for Border Cities, Receiving Communities, and Non-Governmental Organizations. The Biden-Harris Administration is increasing funding available to border cities and those cities receiving an influx of migrants, in addition to strengthening ongoing coordination and collaboration across all levels of government. DHS is also expanding outreach efforts with local jurisdictions to provide coordination of resources and technical assistance support and the Administration has been facilitating coordination between state and local officials and other federal agencies. Additionally, the Administration will continue to mobilize faith-based and non-profit organizations supporting migrants, including those providing temporary shelter, food, and humanitarian assistance before often reuniting with family as they await the outcome of their immigration proceedings.
The Biden-Harris Administration will do everything within its authority and available resources to manage this challenge, but until and unless Congress delivers the funding as well as comprehensive immigration reform measures President Biden requested, the United States’ broken immigration system will indeed remain broken.
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- Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet: The Biden-Harris Administration Takes New Actions to Increase Border Enforcement and Accelerate Processing for Work Authorizations, While Continuing to Call on Congress to Act
WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is announcing another series of actions to increase enforcement across the Southwest Border, accelerate processing of work authorizations, and the decision to redesignate and extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuela. In consultation with interagency partners and with careful consideration for the conditions, and due to extraordinary and temporary conditions in Venezuela that prevent individuals from safely returning, the Secretary of Homeland Security decided to extend and redesignate TPS for Venezuela. President Biden has called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform since his first day in office. As a result of Congress’ failure to enact the reform, the Administration has been using the limited tools it has available to secure the border and build a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system while leading the largest expansion of lawful pathways for immigration in decades. We also urge passage of fully funded emergency appropriations, including the supplemental funding request for border security, as requested by the President this summer. The $4 billion supplemental funding requested for DHS addresses immediate needs of the Department to safely and humanely manage the Southwest Border and to continue implementing our immigration laws through the expansion of lawful pathways and enforcing consequences for those who do not use them. DHS has also allocated more than $770 million to 69 partner organizations in Fiscal Year 2023 to support communities receiving migrants, in both the Southwest Border region and the interior, through the Shelter and Services Program (SSP) and the Emergency Food and Shelter Program – Humanitarian Awards (EFSP-H). Combating smugglers. DHS continues to escalate the fight against those smuggling in persons and narcotics and the Administration is prosecuting an increasing number of smugglers, as well as noncitizens who are violating our laws.
From April 2022 through September 12, 2023, CBP and HSI arrested nearly 17,000 suspected human smugglers and seized more than $51 million in property and nearly $13 million in currency. This has resulted in more than 2,000 indictments and more than 1,500 convictions in partnership with the U.S. attorneys.
U.S. Border Patrol has referred 9,904 individuals for prosecution between May 12 and Sept. 14.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is vigorously prosecuting those who unlawfully bring in, harbor, or transport migrants, as well as many thousands of felony reentry cases. DOJ and DHS are working closely together to target additional prosecutorial resources towards these serious immigration offenses.
Deploying a military personnel surge to support border efforts. The Department of Defense is providing additional military personnel – on top of the 2,500 steady state National Guard personnel – to support the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This surge support includes up to 800 new active-duty personnel to assist with logistics and other functions at the border to allow more Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and officers to return to their core mission and responsibilities. These individuals complement the 24,000 CBP agents and officers along the Southwest Border we have sustained and over 2,600 additional non-uniformed personnel we have hired to assist in processing and facility operations. Since May 12, we have also extended the support of 500 law enforcement and general support volunteers from other DHS components to supplement CBP border security operations. Expediting family removals nationwide. DHS has expanded the Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM) program nationwide so that families without a lawful basis to remain are quickly removed. Under this process, families are placed into expedited removal proceedings to occur within 30 days. This program was launched in May and has processed over 1,600 families and will continue to scale up significantly. Adding DHS holding and processing capacity. DHS has expanded its capacity to hold an additional 3,250 people in its facilities, for a CBP holding capacity of nearly 23,000. This builds on expansions of several thousand across CBP and ICE facilities put in place before May to process, detain, and remove more noncitizens who do not have a lawful basis to remain in the United States. Since May 12, we have processed 110,000 individuals for expedited removal and completed an average of 4,000 credible fear cases each week, double the previous high. Working with international partners to speed removals and returns. Since May 12, we have removed or returned over 253,000 individuals to 152 countries. This compares to 180,000 removals and returns during the same period in 2019, which was the comparable pre-pandemic and pre-Title 42 period. This was enabled by a more than doubling of ICE international removal flights from the first to the second half of FY 2023 and new agreements with multiple countries to streamline returns. This includes: 36,000 family members encountered at the Southwest Border and over 17,000 non-Mexicans to Mexico – a critical deterrent, especially for hard-to-remove-to countries, and the first time Mexico has ever accepted substantial numbers of third-country repatriations. DHS has removed or returned more family members in the last 4 months than in any previous full fiscal year. Improving Processing of Work Authorizations and Directly Communicating with Work Eligible Individuals. Only Congress can change the law to allow asylum seekers to get work authorization sooner than six months after filing their claim. Right now, six months is the law. Beginning October 1, USCIS will accelerate processing for Employment Authorization Document (EAD) applications filed by parolees who scheduled an appointment through CBP One, who are, in contrast with asylum seekers, able to apply for work authorization immediately. USCIS will dedicate additional personnel and implement improvements to decrease the median processing time for these applications from 90 days to 30 days. USCIS will also work to decrease median processing times for EAD applications associated with the Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan parole processes to 30 days. Further, USCIS will increase the maximum validity period of initial and renewal EADs to 5 years for certain noncitizens, including those admitted as refugees or granted asylum; recipients of withholding of removal; and applicants for asylum, adjustment of status, or cancellation of removal. The increased validity period will reduce the frequency with which noncitizens must file for to renew their work authorization. This is anticipated to also reduce the associated workload and processing times, which will allow USCIS to concentrate efforts on initial work authorization caseload. For those already eligible to work, we are taking steps to expedite employment authorization processing. Individuals who are paroled into the United States after making an appointment through the CBP One mobile app, the parole processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans for up to two years, and those who have applied for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are eligible to apply for work authorization immediately. However, nationwide, only a small percentage of working-age individuals paroled after making an appointment through CBP One have applied for employment work authorizations. To raise awareness, the Biden Administration has been sending email and SMS notifications to certain parolees, including those who have been paroled into the United States after the use of the CBP One app, nationwide informing them of their eligibility to apply for employment authorization and is reinforcing that effort with personnel on the ground. To date, more than 1.4 million email and text notifications have been sent by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Ukrainian, and Russian. DHS is deploying 50 personnel to New York this month to educate recently arrived migrants on the immigration system and how to apply for employment authorization documents. These newest actions complement many other steps taken by USCIS to improve processing times across form types and to ensure timely access to employment authorization, including: temporary final rule in May 2022 that automatically extends EADs for certain renewal applicants and immediately restored the ability to work for tens of thousands of noncitizens whose EADs had expired through no fault of their own; and a previous extension of EAD validity periods for asylees and refugees, noncitizens with withholding of deportation or removal, parolees, and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioners. Temporary Protection for those Already in the US. Given the extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevent certain Venezuelan nationals currently in the U.S. from returning safely to Venezuela, the Secretary of Homeland Security is extending and redesignating Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months for individuals that were residing in the United States on or before July 31, 2023. As a result, an additional approximately hundreds of thousands Venezuelan nationals across the country will be immediately eligible to apply for work authorization. TPS provides temporary protection from removal, as well as employment authorization for eligible Venezuelan nationals.
- Border Security
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- Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
- Lawful Pathways
- Southwest Border
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
ICE will face a $500 million budget shortfall for border security unless Congress takes action, officials say
When border security provisions were stripped from the national security supplemental bill in the Senate last week because of Republican opposition, a doomsday clock began ticking for cities struggling to cope with an influx of migrants and federal agencies bracing for a new surge at the border.
Two Department of Homeland Security officials told NBC News Immigration and Customs Enforcement is now forecasting a budget shortfall of over $500 million unless Congress takes action. Other areas of the department, including Customs and Border Protection, are facing similar shortfalls, they said.
At that rate, key areas of ICE operations could run out of money by May, the officials said.
Under the bipartisan border deal, DHS was supposed to get more than $15 billion to do things Republicans had demanded , such as deporting more migrants and stopping fentanyl smuggling.
Without the new funding, the agency will not only be unprepared to deal with a rapid increase in migrant flow across the border, but it will also be unable to maintain the status quo, two DHS officials told NBC News. The officials said DHS agencies will soon have to move resources from other areas to scrape by.
Cities such as Chicago, New York, Denver, Los Angeles and Boston, where the numbers of newly arrived migrants have exploded, were going to get $1.4 billion from the bill to help them cope.
Democratic mayors of those cities had repeatedly pleaded with the Biden administration for more help to house and educate, provide medical care for and find work authorization for the tens of thousands of new migrants who have arrived since summer 2022, some of them shipped north by Republican governors. The aid was part of the bipartisan border security deal negotiated by Republicans and Democrats over many months but killed by Republicans last week.
The federal government has doled out $370 million to the cities, but they have not received federal support since last fall, and without more congressional funding, a DHS spokesperson said, “cities and communities along the border and in the interior of the United States where migrants are awaiting their immigration court proceedings would suffer.” Congress’ failure to pass the supplemental “will put at risk DHS’s current removal operations, put further strain on our already overtaxed workforce, and make it harder to catch fentanyl at ports of entry. Without adequate funding for CBP, ICE, and USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services),, the Department will have to reprogram or pull resources from other efforts,” a DHS spokesperson said.
Fewer arrests, fewer deportations
At the southwest border, meanwhile, the federal agencies will not have enough money for needed new hires, and there will be fewer arrests, detentions and deportations of immigrants.
The bill would have included $7.6 billion for ICE and it would have dramatically increased detention space for migrants.
Now not only will ICE be unable to increase detention space, but it will also have to carry out fewer deportations than it has in the past year, when deportations nearly doubled from the previous year to 142,580. It may be unable to deport many migrants who already have final orders of deportation.
“A reduction in ICE operations would significantly harm border security, national security and public safety,” a DHS spokesperson said.
Estimates of the exact dollar amounts DHS would need to maintain the status quo have varied, depending on different projections for how high border crossings may surge.
In spring 2023, ICE warned that the number of migrants crossing daily could rise to 14,000, which would have led it to run out of money as soon as July. Numbers never reached that level in spring 2023. In December, however, they reached more than 12,000 per day, a record, straining the resources of ICE, as well as Customs and Border Protection, whose Border Patrol agents are responsible for apprehending and processing migrants.
CBP has long faced challenges recruiting new agents and officers. The bill asked for nearly $6.8 billion for CBP, of which $723 million was for new hires. Instead, CBP will now need to “repurpose funds, while drawing back operations in non-essential areas,” the DHS spokesperson said.
The repurposing is likely to include pulling back on investments in technology to better detect migrants along the border and detect fentanyl coming in vehicles across ports of entry, DHS said.
Immigrants coming into the U.S. through legal means will also feel the effects of the DHS funding drain.
Without the needed funds, USCIS will have to reallocate personnel to screen migrants crossing the border for asylum while taking them away from adjudicating green card applications, the DHS spokesperson said.
Julia Ainsley is homeland security correspondent for NBC News and covers the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department for the NBC News Investigative Unit.
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Language Access Information and Resources
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) is committed to providing language translation and interpreter services to all noncitizens in agency custody — regardless of country of citizenship or language.
Title VI - Civil Rights Act of 1964
The U.S. government prioritizes meaningful language access services and programs. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended (42 U.S.C. Section 2000d) prohibits recipients of federal financial assistance from discriminating based on national origin.
Language is an aspect of national origin. The agency takes reasonable steps to make their programs, services and activities accessible by eligible persons with limited English proficiency. To ensure nondiscrimination, meaningful access to programs and activities should be provided to persons regardless of their ability to speak or understand English.
Executive Order 13166
ERO adheres to Executive Order 13166, Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency , signed on August 11, 2000 (EO 13166). The Executive Order requires federal agencies to examine the services they provide, identify any need for services to those who are limited English proficient (LEP), and to develop and implement a system to provide those services. Under the Executive Order, each federal agency must develop a plan for providing that access.
Language Access Plan
On June 14, 2015, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued its Language Access Plan (LAP) to improve language access services for external stakeholders with limited English proficiency (LEP) in accordance with EO 13166 . On August 15, 2018, DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) issued direction to the DHS components to prepare supplemental updates to their LAPs to include considering their Language Access Working Group, evaluation tools and mechanisms, demographic assessments, and new technologies. ICE issued its ICE Language Access Plan Supplemental Update Covering Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020 (ICE LAP Supplement) on July 21, 2020. The ICE LAP Supplement documents the work ICE has done to provide meaningful language access from the issuance of the ICE LAP to FY 2019 and provides an overview of how ICE will continue to provide meaningful language access services to its external stakeholders who are LEP. The Supplement requires that updates to the ICE LAP should be provided at two-year intervals.
ICE Detention Standards
ICE’s national detention standards govern the detention facilities throughout ICE’s network. The ICE detentions standards under which the facilities operate require that information be provided to LEP persons in a language or manner they can understand throughout the immigration process.
In accordance with ICE’s detentions standards, each facility provides communication assistance to detained noncitizens who are LEP, including bilingual staff or professional interpretation and translation services, to provide them with meaningful access to its programs and activities. All written materials provided to detained noncitizens are generally translated into Spanish and where practicable, the languages of other significant segments of the LEP population.
Oral interpretation or assistance is provided to any detained noncitizen who speaks another language in which written material has not been translated or who is illiterate.
Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
ERO provides accurate and effective communication with LEP stakeholders to ensure meaningful access to programs and activities. ICE notes not all forms are translated into every dialect spoken by detained noncitizens in ICE custody.
Through contracts with language assistance vendors, ICE ERO uses professional oral interpretation and translation services that cover more than 200 languages, including Indigenous languages. Additionally, many ERO staff have sufficient proficiency in one or more languages other than English and communicate with LEP persons in their primary language, when appropriate.
Additionally, ICE’s Language Access Program allows noncitizens access to language services by facilitating the translation of certain ERO forms at any phase of the immigration process, including forms used in ICE’s detention centers. If a form is unavailable in a noncitizen’s primary language, the noncitizen receives translation services for the explanation of the form via Lionbridge or other approved translation services.
ERO has access to an ICE-wide 24 hours a day, seven days a week language services contract for interpretation (oral), translation (written), and transcription (audio to documentation).
ERO regularly coordinates with its language line vendors to better ensure recruitment and availability of over-the-phone interpretation services to serve those in ICE custody who speak Indigenous languages.
ERO disseminated to field offices nationwide tools designed to help staff identify noncitizens who speak Indigenous languages. These include an ERO audio/visual PowerPoint, Intake Tool for Identifying Indigenous Languages, and an ISpeak Indigenous Language Identification flyer developed by the Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
ICE ERO Language Access
ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) identifies, arrests, detains, and removes noncitizens who present a danger to national security, are a risk to public safety, enter the United States illegally, or otherwise undermine the integrity of the U.S. immigration laws and border control efforts. In carrying out this important mission, it is vital for ICE ERO to communicate effectively with a broad-spectrum of noncitizens, including those who have limited English proficiency.
ICE ERO is committed to ensuring that external LEP stakeholders (including members of the public seeking access to programs, and noncitizens who are subject to ICE enforcement actions and/or are in ICE custody) have meaningful access to its programs, services, and activities by providing quality language assistance services in a timely manner. This includes identifying and translating vital documents into the most frequently encountered languages, providing interpretive services where appropriate, and educating personnel about language access responsibilities and how to utilize available resources.
When conducting its business and strategic planning, ICE ERO considers means of enhancing its language access services that do not also unduly burden the agency mission.
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