Administration Expands Ability to Deport Legal Immigrants
Starting on November 19, the administration’s guidelines for summoning both undocumented and legal immigrants before immigration judges in order to initiate deportation procedures will officially expand, allowing more “foreigners”—even those present in the U.S. legally—to be officially declared illegal. Specifically, according to U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS), officials will have more discretion to issue Notices to Appear (NTA) when immigration benefit requests are denied.
In October, USCIS had already expanded the number of reasons or categories available to the agency for issuing NTAs and have immigrants sent to immigration judges to start deportation proceedings against them. The new measure affects foreigners who entered the U.S. legally—through a visa, for example—will immediately and officially be breaking the law if their benefit or petition is denied. This is in sharp contrast to circumstances prior to the measure, whereby these individuals had time to petition again or pursue other means of staying in the U.S., perhaps under a separate status.
NTAs Now Issued Based On Following VISA Denials
Specifically, USCIS may now issue NTAs based on denials of the following visas:
- I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widower, or Special Immigrant;
- I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, green card applications in the U.S.;
- I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions for spouses and/or unmarried children under 21 years of age refugees;
- I-914/I-914A, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status for victims of trafficking;
- I-918/I-918A, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status for victims of qualifying criminal activity;
- I-929, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant, Violence Against Women Act self-petitions and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status petitions.
USCIS has also announced that it plans to target T, VAWA, and U visa applicants or other petitioners who fail to meet other eligibility requirements. USCIS has also insisted that its “priority” is those with criminal records and/or those who have engaged in fraud and/or those who present concerns regarding national security. However, as of June, USCIS considers legal immigrants who “violate state or federal programs related to the reception of public benefits” to be in the category of individuals who fall under fraud and/or criminal activity.
If You Live In North Carolina & Received an NTA, Contact Our Immigration Defense Attorneys
Legally, anyone who applies for benefits via T, VAWA, and U visas have the right to appeal negative decisions on their applications and petitions. If your immigration status has come into question even though you are here legally—or if you are undocumented and have received an NTA—contact our experienced immigration defense attorneys at Hauter Law Firm, PC today. We serve all clients throughout North Carolina.