Immigration 2022: What to Watch

Immigration is constantly evolving, and as we enter into a new year, it's time to look ahead. Keep reading for immigration trends to watch in 2022.

The Foreign-Born Labor Force

As immigration into the country increases, experts estimate that the foreign-born population will grow. Since 2016, the foreign-born population has been declining significantly. Then COVID-19 slowed immigration to a halt.

Now that the borders have opened once again, a record-breaking 46.2 million migrants crossed the borders in November 2021. These numbers have increased steadily in the past few months, and the Current Population Survey is trending up.

This is a significant win for the labor market as many migrants bring unique skills and specialties to the job market. Research has proven that foreign-born workers contribute significantly to the overall workforce and provide a much-needed boost to the economy.

OTM Migrants

Other than Mexican migrants (OTM) are expected to increase in number over the next few years. One of the reasons why researchers predict this shift is because of upcoming congressional elections. Because the House is expected to flip, there may be a push to migrate before migration becomes a more contentious political issue.

Many migrants may be more inclined to migrate before the political tide shifts again in a more restrictive direction. There is also the fact that many OTM migrants have been waiting at the border for weeks, if not months, because of delays.

Asylum in Jeopardy

In the last few years, asylum has come under fire as a weakness in the immigration system. For many lawmakers and voters alike, the asylum system is a gateway to the United States for people who wish to abuse the system.

If the House flips, asylum could become a political issue that may jeopardize the program of extreme limitations or even bans in the worst-case scenario.

State Pushback

Immigration expansion has been a central point in the Biden administration's strategy. Texas and Florida have already pushed back against immigration reform efforts, and many are concerned that this trend will continue. Because of this, many state leaders feel threatened by new laws opening up immigration to border states.

One way to limit the federal government's power over immigration is by instating strict regulations and preventing public benefits. Governors can limit the amount of financial assistance available for people within the state and increase law enforcement's power. This will be a genuine concern over the next year.

Enforcement and Detainment

Immigration enforcement has shifted back and forth for years now, and researchers expect that trend to continue. In general, immigration enforcement and detention have become more strict since 2013. ICE and border patrol officers have been allowed a heavy hand, but that could be changing.

In general, experts predict the following:

  • Detention center closures
  • Limits on who can be detained
  • Deportation numbers will decrease
  • Crackdowns on accountability measures for ICE officers

Fee Increases

To combat backlogs and overworked staffing, the State Department may be incr4asing fees for nonimmigrant visas this year. These new fees will take effect in September 2022. Visitor and student visas, in particular, will come with a higher price tag as costs rise over 63%.

Executive Action

Impasses in congress have stalled reform for over a year now, but these delays may not continue for long. Congressional inaction could push the President to take executive action to move policies forward.

The failure to pass Build Back Better and the complicated history of the DREAMER and DACA programs have made it clear that resistance to change may be more politically motivated than progress-minded, which puts millions of migrants in jeopardy.


This year, the immigration system is in for a shakeup from higher fees to detention center closures. There are a lot of changes ahead for immigration in 2022. Some of the predictions are positive, and some are cause for concern, but overall it seems like this year may yield significant systemic changes.

Pursue Your American Dream

Lim Law, P.A. understands that the immigration system is complicated, and there's a lot at stake. This year, there are significant changes in store for the immigration system, and it's important to protect what matters. That's why we work tirelessly to help you pursue your American Dream.

Contact Lim Law, P.A. for more information.