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News in Brief: TPS Extended for Haitians for Six Months; FY2018 Budget Proposal Allocates Significant Funding to Border Security and Immigration Enforcement; Proposal in Play to Relax Standards for CBP Applicants; USCIS Issuing New Green Cards and Work Cards

The following additional items may be of interest to our readers:

TPS Extended for Haitian Nationals until 1/22/2018: DHS announced the extension of the designation of Haiti for temporary protected status (TPS) for six months, from 7/23/17 through 1/22/18. The 60-day re-registration period runs until 7/24/17. DHS has also announced that it will re-evaluate Haiti’s TPS designation prior to January 2018 and decide anew whether extension, re-designation, or termination is warranted. In fact, in April USCIS concluded that the conditions in Haiti no longer support its designation for TPS. The agency recommended that DHS terminate Haiti’s TPS designation, but delay the effective date until January 22, 2018. The goal of this extension is to provide a six-month period of orderly transition prior to TPS termination. Some 47,000 Haitians have lived in the United States under the protection of TPS for more than seven years. It is feared that termination of the program will create immense hardship for these individuals and will impact their children, many of whom are U.S. citizens, and their families back home who rely on remittances for their basic needs. Haitian TPS beneficiaries are reminded to also apply for work authorization. A timely filed EAD application would automatically extend the validity of the expired EAD for 180 days until 1/18/18.

FY2018 Budget Proposal Allocates Significant Funding to Border Security and Immigration Enforcement: The Trump Administration’s fiscal year 2018 budget request would dramatically increase immigration enforcement and border security funding, including increasing immigration detention by 66 percent. The Administration is requesting an extra $300 million to hire an additional 500 CBP officers and 1,000 new ICE agents, and another $1.6 billion for construction of a border wall. These funding increases are intended to reduce illegal entries and overstays by strict enforcement.

Proposal in Play to Relax Standards for CBP Applicants: The House of Representatives recently passed The Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act, which is designed to relax CBP hiring standards by exempting some applicants from polygraph testing before being hired. Unfortunately, the bill will do nothing to ensure good hiring practices by the Border Patrol, which has a history of staffing issues related to corruption, excessive use of force, and abuse. These same problems prompted Congress to pass the Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010, which required additional hiring measures including mandatory polygraph testing. (CBP is the only federal law enforcement agency with a congressionally mandated polygraph as a condition of employment.) This bill will now move over to the Senate, where the similar “Boots on the Border” bill — passed last month — addresses CBP’s chronic staffing shortage by streamlining background tests for qualified veterans, military service members, and law enforcement officers in good standing.

USCIS Issuing New Green Cards and Work Cards: USCIS has redesigned the permanent resident card (green card) and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD, or work card) in their proactive approach against the threat of document tampering and fraud. These redesigned cards use enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features to create cards that are highly secure and more tamper-resistant than the ones currently in use.