Immigration Lawyer’s Predict Rise in Deportation Hearings

This blog expands on yesterday’s on a change in policy by the Trump Administration to add new categories of those who DHS and ICE will place in Deportation Proceedings. Now the list will include those applications, petitions or immigration benefits that were denied. In prior administrations, particularly the Obama Administration, denials of applications for immigration benefits, where no serious criminal violations or fraud and/or misrepresentation were alleged, rarely resulted in Deportation Proceedings. That is changing now.

John Lee Carrico, Esq.
Lead Immigration Attorney
Family Visa and immigration Services

According to USCIS, the January 25, 2017 Executive Order, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” provides support to USCIS authority to initiate removal proceedings against any individual who is removable.
The new NTA guidance mandates USCIS to issue an NTA upon denial of an application, petition, or immigration benefit request where the applicant, beneficiary, or requestor is removable except in very limited circumstances.
The new guidance mandates USCIS to issue an NTA to every person who is “not lawfully present” in the United States at the time an application, petition, or request for an immigration benefit is denied. This is particularly significant because USCIS is simultaneously attempting to re-define “lawful presence” more narrowly via policy memo that will take effect on August 9. The NTA memo and the “lawful presence” have to be read together
New policy will draw agency resources away from threats to national security and public safety by requiring USCIS to issue an NTA in cases when it may not be necessary. Past policy required USCIS to refer most cases to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to make that determination.
Prosecutorial Discretion, a cornerstone of America’s judicial system for centuries, allowing for the efficient and effective prioritization of cases, has been relegated to the dust bin; it is a thing of the past.
The memos do not change policy regarding issuance of NTAs in cases where it is required by statute or regulation, in cases involving national security concerns, in cases involving criminal conduct that renders a person removable, and in cases involving fraud or misrepresentation. In those cases DHS will continue to issue NTAs.
In addition to issuing an NTA when fraud or misrepresentation is part of the record (which USCIS has long had the authority to do), USCIS will now issue an NTA when there is “evidence of abuse of public benefit programs.” This change must be read in conjunction with the administration’s impeding changes to the public charge rule.
A separate DACA-specific memo appears to keep the same general policies for DACA requestors that were in place before the issuance of the 2018 NTA memo, directing USCIS to consult the 2011 NTA memo to determine whether to issue an NTA in a DACA case or refer a DACA case to ICE.
The guidance also instructs USCIS officers to defer to ICE and CBP regarding the timing of NTA issuance to former TPS beneficiaries after the country’s TPS designation ends.

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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