President Trump signed the nearly $1.2 trillion spending bill approved by Congress last week that keeps the federal government running for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year, ending on Sept. 30. The new budget largely overlooks spending for most of Trump’s anti-immigration proposals and stepped-up enforcement measures.
Still, the new federal budget contains both good and bad news for immigrants looking to come and stay in the U.S.
EB-5 Regional Center Program Extended
The EB-5 Regional Center Program will continue in place through Sept. 30, without any changes.
An EB-5 program allows a foreign national and her or his family to get green cards by investing $1 million in a regional center that creates at least 10 full-time jobs. A regional center is a business—often a real-estate project—approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the regional center is located in a rural or high unemployment area, a foreign national only needs to invest $500,000. The job requirement remains the same.
Currently, USCIS is issuing EB-5 regional center visas to foreign investors from all countries except China, according to the May 2017 Visa Bulletin. Take a look at my previous blog on how to choose a regional center or contact us if you need assistance.
More Funding for Deportations
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency responsible for deportations, has stepped up monitoring, detention, and deportation using tactics that in some cases have violated due process. Trump wanted funding to hire 10,000 additional ICE agents. However, Congress rejected that request.
Under the new budget, ICE will receive $6.4 billion, including $617 million for additional detention beds and removing undocumented immigrants.
Read my blog post on what to do to protect yourself—whether you’re a documented or undocumented immigrant—when approached by ICE agents.
More Visas for Temporary Workers?
The new budget gives the Secretary of Homeland Security the ability to raise the cap on the number of H-2B temporary visas issued by USCIS. The H-2B program enables U.S. employers to bring citizens from certain countries to the U.S. to work in temporary nonagricultural jobs. Read more about the H-2B temporary visa program on our website.
In March, the 66,000 H-2B visa cap for the current fiscal year was reached. The new budget allows up to 69,000 additional H-2B visas this fiscal year.
The Alcorn Immigration Law team can provide more information about the EB-5 regional center or H-2B visa programs. We can also help you find other visa or green card options for you or your employees. Contact us.