ICE Changes Rules for U Visas

While much of the media has been focusing attention on President Trump’s new public charge rule, his administration has been quietly working in the background to change the way it handles visas that are awarded to applicants who cooperate with criminal investigations. The changes have made it easier for immigrant informants to be deported while their visas are still pending.

As a result of the administration’s changes to the U visa, immigration attorneys and advocates are worried that far less immigrants will come forward to report crimes. The changes were made last month when Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a revised directive that gives ICE permission use its discretion to deport U visa applicants who are cooperating with criminal investigations.

According to the directive from ICE, the agency has the authority to “review the totality of the circumstances, including any favorable or adverse factors, and any federal interest(s) implicated and decide whether a Stay of Removal or terminating proceedings is appropriate.” The directive also states that ICE “no longer exempts classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.”

While the goal of the U visa was to serve as a tool that law enforcement could use to investigate or prosecute criminal activity and protect immigrant survivors who have come forward, the new policy directly conflicts with these two purposes.

At Kanu & Associates, P.C., we are committed to helping our clients resolve all of their immigration matters. We know how difficult and confusing it can be to petition for citizenship with the numerous immigration policy changes that have been made by the Trump administration, which is why we are here to handle your legal matter on your behalf.

Call (602) 353-7795 today to schedule your consultation with one of our skilled immigration lawyers.

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