On March 23, 2018, President Trump signed the much-debated $1.3 billion spending bill averting another government shutdown. American Immigration Lawyers Association's (AILA) Director of Government Relations Greg Chen reacts to the spending bill Congress passed that will fund the government through the end of FY2018 and shares what it means for immigration policy.
- Immigration Enforcement. Increased funding for Department of Homeland Security (DHS), particularly for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with over $21 billion dollars in combined funding. Includes increase funding for detention beds, additional Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents, ICE attorneys, and immigration judge teams.
- Border Wall. No funding for a border wall, but increased funding for 100 miles for vehicular and pedestrian fencing along the Southwest border.
- Dreamers and DACA. No Dreamer protections, despite bipartisan congressional support and 8 out of 10 Americans support protections for Dreamers.
- Cap relief for H-2B Program. DHS has the discretion to raise the number of visas available for the fiscal year to 129,547 (from 66,000).
- Other. Reauthorization of EB-5 Regional Center Program, E-Verify, the Non-ministerial Special Immigration Religious Worker Program, and the Conrad State 30 J-1 Waiver for physicians.
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