Immigration Lawyers See Deportations Increasing

Under prior Presidential administrations, Notices to Appear (NTA’s) in Immigration Court were issues to undocumented immigrants convicted of certain crimes as well as legal residents. And under the Obama Administration an NTA could be dismissed if one had U.S. citizen, or Legal Resident family here and the criminal conviction was a not a felony or serious misdemeanor. This was done by way of Prosecutorial Discretion. Our immigration attorneys represent individuals who are placed into removal proceedings and also represent people filing for relief from removal or filing applications to adjust status to permanent residence or those

Under the Trump Administration, Prosecutorial Discretion has essentially ended and the Immigration Court System is experiencing long backlogs with an increase in Notices to Appear. Below is a description of a new policy just announced by USCIS, DHS and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement):

On July 5, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published new guidance, dated June 28, 2018 regarding the issuance of Notices to Appear (NTA). USCIS will take an incremental approach to implement the June 28, 2018, policy memo:
· Starting October 1, 2018, USCIS may issue NTAs on denied status-impacting applications, including but not limited to, Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.
· An NTA is a charging document that is issued to foreign nationals who are deemed “removable” from the United States.
· People who receive NTAs must appear before an immigration judge to determine whether they should be removed from the United States (which carries significant penalties), or whether they are entitled to some type of relief from removal, allowing them to remain in the United States legally.
· The new USCIS NTA policy is a dramatic change from more than a decade of consistent practice, that will divert scarce USCIS resources and needlessly force a massive number of individuals into our already overburdened immigration court system.
· In 2003, when DHS was created, Congress purposefully separated the enforcement functions and the service functions of the legacy INS into three components: CBP (border enforcement and inspections); ICE (interior enforcement) and USCIS (adjudication of immigration benefits).
· Prior agency guidance appropriately shifted NTA issuance to the interior enforcement arm of DHS. With ICE largely responsible for issuing NTAs, USCIS could focus primarily on benefits adjudications, its primary responsibility.
· The new guidance turns USCIS into a third enforcement component of DHS. An NTA will be issued and the person will be forced into the court system, preventing them from departing the U.S. even if they want to
· The new policy could also sweep foreign students into court. USCIS recently changed its requirements for students, who already face confusing regulations, that will render many of them out of status, even though they were following longstanding policy.
For a free consultation, contact our immigration lawyers in Las Vegas at (702) 836-9003 or in Reno, Carson City and Northern Nevada at (775) 826-2099. You may also contact our lead immigration attorney via email by clicking here. 

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