Weekly Immigration News Roundup: December 9, 2022 (archive)

In a Nutshell

Immigration news this week revealed the precarious nature of being an immigrant — documented or not — in the U.S. First, an ICE information leak earlier this week endangered an estimated 6,000 immigrants seeking protection in U.S. In better new, as SCOTUS began hearing the case 303 Creative v. Elenis, which challenges same-sex marriages, Congress passed a landmark bill to protect such marriages. We talk below about how this impacts same-sex marriage green card applicants. Finally, an increase in the number of processed and approved naturalization applications in 2022 gives some hope that USCIS is making progress addressing a backlog exacerbated by by COVID-19.

Written by ImmigrationHelp News Team
Written December 8, 2022

Here are the top news stories we covered this week.

ICE Data Leak Made More Than 6,000 Immigrants’ Information Public

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data leak compromised the information of 6,252 immigrants fleeing from torture and persecution. The leak occurred on Nov. 28, 2022, when an Excel spreadsheet with identifying information was accidentally made public for up to five hours. Several immigrants on this list are from places such as Russia, Iran, and China, which have complicated relationships with the United States government. 

SCOTUS and Congress Weigh In on Same-Sex Marriage

SCOTUS is currently hearing , a case that challenges the legality of same-sex marriage. The case came out of Colorado, where a graphic designer and business owner wanted the right to refuse services to LGBTQ+ couples and include a public notice of this intent. In response to potential threats to same-sex marriages, both chambers of Congress have passed the Respect for Marriage Act. The bill now goes to President Biden for signing. Assuming Biden signs the bill, LGBTQ+ couples applying for marriage green cards should remain eligible for such benefits.   

USCIS Processed Third Highest Number of Citizenship Approvals in U.S. History in 2022

Including children of citizenship applicants, a total of 1,023,200 people became U.S. citizens in fiscal year 2022, which ended Sept. 30, 2022. This represents the third-highest number of approved naturalization applications in U.S. history and the highest this decade

It’s also a hopeful sign that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is starting to address application processing backlogs and rebounding from closures and service slowdowns in 2020–2021 related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Week In Pop Culture

  • Rolling Stone’s list of 100 best songs of the year includes several immigrants and foreign-born artists popular in immigrant communities across the U.S. The list includes artists such as Bad Bunny, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and The Weeknd.

  • Hate crimes against Asians and Asian Americans increased in 2021. Writer Rodlyn-mae Banting wrote about her relationship to self-defense after attacks became a bigger concern in New York City. 

  • Known for his comedy, Oscar nomination, and for being the first South Asian in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Kumail Nanjiani tackled his first role as a complicated criminal in ‘Chippendales’ and explains why he chose to do so.