How The Build Back Better Act Affects Immigration

James Parker
December 13, 2021

The proposed Build Back Better Act (BBBA) is an extremely large piece of legislation that contains over 60,000 sections and provisions. Nestled within the BBBA are a few provisions that seek to adjust the process of immigration to be more efficient for both the U.S. Center For Immigration Services (USCIS) and the immigrant applicants. 

Section 60001 is designed to allow certain individuals, both documented and undocumented, to purchase an application for an adjustment of status, the byname for a green card. The types of immigrants who would be allowed to apply for this adjustment of status include:

  • Dreamers (children brought to the U.S. under the age of 16)
  • Essential Workers (farmhands, healthcare workers, energy workers, transportation workers, public works employees, and manufacturing workers)
  • Temporary Protected Status Holders (immigrants who cannot safely be returned to their nation of origin)
  • Deferred Enforced Departure Recipients (immigrants who cannot be deported until a certain date by presidential order)

For $1,500, these individuals can begin the process of applying for permanent residence if they pass a criminal background check, medical screening, and separate physical presence and eligibility requirements. 

Section 60002 is designed to legally “recapture” unused immigration visas. Section 60002 will recycle family and employment visas that were unused as far back as the fiscal year 1992 and allow them to be applied to the immigration backlog that the USCIS currently faces. Section 60002 will also recycle unused diversity visas from the fiscal year 2017 and onward.

Sections 60003 and 60004 deal with applying for permanent residence waivers outside of the traditional methods like employment or family-based visas and their accompanying fees and applications. Section 60004 also notes that these fees will go back to the U.S. government itself by way of the General Treasury Fund rather than going directly back into the USCIS.

Section 60005 allocates $2.8 billion for the purpose of “increasing capacity of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to effectively adjudicate applications described in sections 245B and 245(n) of the Immigration Nationality Act, as added by sections 60001 and 60003 of this Act, respectively, and to reduce case processing backlogs.” 

This funding, if used wisely, could go a long way to clearing the years-long backlogs currently present in USCIS immigration application queues.   

If you or a loved one may be impacted by the immigration provisions in the Build Back Better Act, you will need the help of an experienced immigration attorney. An immigration attorney can represent your case to a judge, preserve your residence, and try to appeal your status in the most efficient ways available under the new legislation. 

The best place to find an immigration attorney is Attorney at Law.

At AAL, our nationwide network of law firms and attorneys allows us to match you with the best attorney in your area. Our partners have the resources, legal expertise, and experience to get you the best possible outcome for your case. Our partners understand the stress of having a temporary status in the U.S. and the dread of deportation. That’s why our partners are evaluated not only for an excellent record, but for empathy and excellent client care. 

Don’t wait. Contact AAL today for a free, no-obligation consultation and pursue your path to citizenship.

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