The U.S. Congress is in the process of making essential updates to current immigration laws. The two proposed bills target those working or interested in working in Mississippi.
The National Defense Authorization Act
Although the title of the act does not mention immigration, one of the amendments to it regards the protection of people brought into the country while minors, known as Dreamers, and minor dependents of those who hold green cards and employment-related visas. It also provides special protections for immigrants from Afghanistan, particularly if they are working towards a critical needs degree in the math and science fields. This bill could prove to be incredibly useful for those who need a deportation defense if they fit the categories the bill addresses.
If passed, the act would provide additional protections to those who qualify. Moreover, it would require the U.S. Department of State to increase the processing of Special Immigrant Visas and for those seeking the status of refugee in the U.S.
One fundamental note about this current legislation is that it is within a defense spending authorization bill. It will most likely become law due to the bill’s annual renewal for the last sixty years.
The Farm Workforce Modernization Act
The aim of this legislation is to allow farmers, specifically pork and dairy producers, to hire H2-A workers to help them maintain and increase their production levels. Since the start of the pandemic, the global supply has been increasingly impacted by the lack of workers. If passed, the U.S. Congress hopes to help alleviate any further stressors along the food supply chain in the U.S.
This piece of legislation has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives multiple times. However, the U.S. Senate has not yet passed it because of a clause that would allow H2A visa holders to sue employers.
If you have an interest in U.S. immigration policy, these two pieces of legislation are the ones to watch most closely. And they can be of particular interest to those interested in working in the U.S. on a specialized visa.