USCIS continues to roll out Trump NTA policy for certain types of cases


Starting November 19, USCIS will expand its list of petition categories that, if the petition is denied and the applicant is left in unlawful status, may result in a Notice to Appear (NTA) for removal (“deportation”) proceedings. Combined with another recent policy that allows USCIS to deny petitions without first allowing applicants or their attorneys to address issues (by issuing a Request for Evidence, for example), a denied petition is now more than ever a major risk.

The original memo was published on June 28, and is part of the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant push to maximize removals. In October, unsuccessful Adjustment of Status Petitions, which grant Lawful Permanent Status (Green Cards) and are one of the cornerstones of the path to citizenship, were among those subject to the policy.

New additions include a number of visas reserved for victims of crime and violence. Victims of human trafficking (Form I-914), certain violent crimes (I-918), and even domestic violence (VAWA/I-360) are now targets, as are their derivatives. In addition, qualifying relatives of U-1 Visa holders (who use Form I-929) and Refugee/Asylee visa holders (who use I-730) are at risk, as is anyone who submits an Adjustment of Status petition based on any of these case types.

We have made these points before, but they are worth making again: the Trump administration’s scapegoating of immigrants is bigoted and cruel; its targeting of the most vulnerable among us, including victims of crime and persecution, is inhumane; and its policies that enforce these goals are Un-American. We also want to emphasize again that in this time of intense scrutiny from a hostile administration, making sure your petition for immigration benefits is as strong as it can possibly be is more important than ever. Please have an immigration attorney on your side, because this administration isn’t.

For further details, please see the USCIS web page here: