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2021 Immigrant Heritage Month

2021 changes to federal immigration policy

On March 10, the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) gave a presentation to a City Council committee with an overview of federal immigration developments and local immigrant inclusion initiatives, including a snapshot of community needs and opportunities by leaders from Black Immigrant Collective, COPAL, Minneapolis Regional Chamber and Release MN8.

Read the presentation and watch the presentation in the City of Minneapolis’ Legislative Information Management System (LIMS) as attachments to the committee's agenda.

Halted immigration fee increases

The Trump administration's proposed increase to immigration filing fees and the elimination of most fee waivers has been halted by a federal court injunction and is currently under review by the Biden administration.

Public charge screening no longer using stricter rule

A Trump administration change to the public charge rule is no longer being used by the Department of Homeland Security as of March 9, 2021.

The term "public charge" means a person who primarily depends on the government for financial support. In some cases, a person deemed a public charge may be ineligible to get permanent residence. Immigration Services (USCIS), screens some immigration applications to figure out if an applicant will be a public charge. Learn more about public charge here.

Many people are not subject to the public charge test at all. You can call Mid Minnesota Legal Aid's public charge hotline at 1-800-292-4150 for a free, confidential consultation if you have questions about how this screening may affect you.

February changes

On Feb. 2, President Biden signed a new round of executive orders affecting federal immigration policy. These orders address topics such as the reunification of families separated at our nation’s southern border, commitment to an efficient and humane asylum system that satisfies our international treaty obligations and addresses the root causes of migration, a multiagency review of the impact of the public charge rule, removing obstacles to obtaining immigration status in the United States, and supporting initiatives for immigrants to seek and obtain United States citizenship.

The orders

January changes

As of Jan. 21, 2021, the Biden administration has taken immediate steps to support our immigrant and refugee communities by signing a number of executive orders and implementing a new Department of Homeland Security Policy memorandum. The actions include a 100-day moratorium on certain deportations, reinstating a program (that had expired Jan. 10) enabling Liberians to obtain work authorization and deferring removal, confirming the census count will include all residents, and ending discriminatory bars to entry into the United States.

The Day One actions of the Biden administration benefiting our immigrant and refugee communities include:

The Trump administration also offered an outgoing memorandum offering deferral of removal for 18 months to Venezuelans in the United States as of Jan. 20.



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