The head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, has instructed the agency’s legal offices to stop deporting certain foreign nationals who may in fact be eligible for a green card, a New York Criminal Lawyer has learned.
New York Criminal Lawyers and immigration activists say this is evidence that ICE is easing up on foreign nationals that would otherwise face deportation. This could affect possibly tens of thousands who may be married or related to a U.S. citizen or legal resident who has filed a petition for them. These immigrants cannot have any criminal convictions to be considered.
The assistant secretary of ICE told a New York Criminal Lawyer that the agency will drop procedures against anyone new eligible under the new guidelines. “Where there is an underlying application or petition and ICE determines … that a non-detained individual appears eligible for relief from removal, [its attorneys] should promptly move to dismiss proceedings,” the assistant secretary wrote to the agency’s principal legal advisor.
“Good for [the assistant secretary] and ICE,” an executive director of an immigrant advocacy agent told a New York Criminal Lawyer. “This is the kind of reform we need. Targeting those who intend to do harm while expediting cases of law-abiding immigrants is the best use of ICE’s precious resources and will save taxpayers money.”
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