USCIS rolls out Trump admin’s policy to issue NTAs in certain cases


As of October 1, 2018, USCIS has begun implementing DHS guidance instructing the agency to issue Notices To Appear (NTAs) in immigration court for removal (“deportation”) proceedings and making case referrals to ICE for a limited set of case types, when denied immigration benefits leave applicants in unlawful status. Initially, the guidance will mainly be applied to the following case types: Applications to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (I-485/Green Card) and Applications to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (I-539).

In January of 2018, President Trump signed an executive order demanding changes to immigration policy as part of a plan to enhance “public safety,” including new priorities for the deportation of aliens from the United States. In June, the Department of Homeland Security published a memo instructing USCIS to begin issuing NTAs, typically the first step in removal proceedings, in a wide variety of new circumstances. Implementation of that guidance was initially suspended, but the plan now appears to be gradually applying the policy to more types of cases over time.

For the time being, NTAs are not expected to be ordered by USCIS for employment-based petitions like DACA, or humanitarian applications such as U-Visas, VAWA self-petitions, asylum, and refugee applications and petitions.

Soberalski Immigration Law will keep you updated as the NTA/removal initiation policy is implemented, such as if and when it begins to affect more types of cases. You can view USCIS’s alert on this policy here: