Despite attempts to pass new legislation before the November 2022 midterm elections, the 117th Congress failed to update any immigration laws. Some factors changed for immigrants in Mississippi and across the United States as the 118th Congress began its term.
Failure to pass Farm Workforce Modernization Act
Despite being passed by the House of Representatives, the Senate failed to pass the Farm Workforce Modernization Act before the 117th Congress adjourned. This act, which was viewed by many as the last Congress’ final attempt to pass meaningful immigration reform, failed to get the support it needed in the Senate. If it had passed, the law would have created a path to United States citizenship for farm workers. Some lawmakers were hopeful this law would pass after the defense bill failed to include immigration reform.
Title 42 dropped by Supreme Court
The Supreme Court was scheduled to hear arguments on Title 42 which expelled thousands of immigrants from the United States because of public health concerns was dropped from the court’s calendrer. Title 42 will end in May 2023.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program extended
The government continues not to accept new applicants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. People in the country can continue reapplying for the program, and the government will process those applications.
Public Charge rule changed
On December 23, 2022, President Biden enacted new public charge rules. These new rules allow immigrants to apply for public assistance in the United States. Before this change, government officials could deny someone entry into the United States if they felt the person or their children would end up on public assistance. Therefore, the government can no longer use this rule to keep people from having to find a deportation defense.
Even though the 117th Congress failed to pass significant immigration legislation before it adjourned, some changes are occurring on the immigration front.