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Border authorities have been told Ukrainians seeking refuge at the U.S. border can be excluded from the Trump-era Title 42 pandemic expulsion policy that forces agents to immediately turn immigrants back, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters yesterday. As with other immigrants and asylum seekers, border officials can make exceptions for Ukrainians on a case-by-case basis. Immigrants may be exempted if U.S. authorities believe they will be tortured if sent back to their country or if they have an extreme vulnerability, such as a medical condition, Mayorkas said. Immigrant children who arrive at the border without a parent or guardian are already automatically exempt. Buzzfeed News
In other federal immigration news…
DHS to Allow Afghans in the U.S. Apply for TPS
The Department of Homeland security announced it will grant humanitarian relief known as Temporary Protected Status to Afghans already in the U.S. who would face extreme hardship if forced to return to their home country, which has been devastated by armed conflict. The TPS designation will also provide additional protections “to trusted partners and vulnerable Afghans who supported the U.S. military, diplomatic, and humanitarian missions in Afghanistan over the last 20 years,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in a statement. More than 76,000 Afghans evacuated last fall have been resettled in the U.S, and most of them were paroled into the country for a period of two years and received work permits. They may be eligible for TPS if they don’t secure a legal status before that two-year period expires. CNN
USCIS urges Indian nationals with approved EB-2 visas to apply for green card
USCIS is urging Indian nationals with approved EB-2 visas with priority dates before September 1, 2014 to apply for their green card in April. “If you are a noncitizen who has an approved immigrant visa petition in the EB-2 category chargeable to India and a priority date earlier than Sept. 1, 2014,” the statement reads. “USCIS encourages you to consider applying for adjustment of status in April by filing Form I-485.” Eligible applicants are advised to consider requesting to transfer the underlying basis of their pending adjustment of status applications in the EB-3 category to the EB-1 or EB-2 category if they meet the following criteria: a visa is unavailable to them in the EB-3 category; they have a pending or approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers; and a visa is available in the EB-1 or EB-2 category. USCIS