New law impacts many non-citizen workers

Immigrant Labor Shortage
Samuel, originally from Mexico and who only wished to share his first name, laughs as he takes a break from installing sheetrock on the ceiling of a home under construction in Plano, Texas, Tuesday, May 3, 2022. There are an estimated two million fewer immigrants than expected in the United States, helping fuel a desperate scramble for workers in many sectors, from meatpacking to homebuilding, that are also contributing to shortages and price increases.
Associated Press/LM Otero

Last Tuesday the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced some changes for non-citizen workers who are under certain categories in the immigration process and whose work permits have expired. The new law announced by US immigration allows these persons to continue working legally for another 18 months in the US even though their work permits may have expiration dates or is proximity to expiration.

This temporary ruling became effective on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, and according to information coming from the office of the USCIS, the extension for these immigrants helps avoid the gaps for non-citizens with pending Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) renewal applications due to back logs. The aim also is to stabilize the continuity of the operations for United States employers, the report further notes. Another benefit towards this delay is to avoid stress and provide critical support for the families of these non-immigrants with pending cases. The extension is also in place for another 18 months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has created problems for thousands of the applications.

The Employment Authorization Document (the work permit) is proof that the immigrants are allowed to work in the United States for a specific period of time without any kind of disruption and while awaiting their permanent resident status.

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