IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING CHANGES IN U.S. DEPORTATION POLICIES
The USCIS released a Policy Memorandum on June 28th, 2018 that affects aliens that are removable/subject to deportation.
For one, the Federal Government is no longer able to excuse certain groups of deportable foreign nationals from potential deportation as they could in the past. This means that every alien that is technically deportable (for any reason), can be deported. Secondly, the immigration authorities are now making it their general priority to deport (remove) aliens that have committed serious crimes or who are otherwise security risks to the U.S., aliens that have committed fraud or misrepresentation*, and any alien that is already subject to “expedited removal.” Thirdly, if you are an alien who is currently removable for any reason (not just the reasons listed in the second paragraph), please pay careful attention: DEPORTATION WILL BE PRIORITIZED BY THE AUTHORITIES, FOR ANY REMOVABLE ALIEN, WHO:
- Has been CONVICTED of ANY criminal offense (this could mean misdemeanors and potentially even minor traffic violations);
- Has been CHARGED with ANY criminal offense that has not yet been resolved (so even minor traffic violations, potentially);
- Has done something that is illegal (even if they haven’t been charged);
- Has engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in any official matter or application with a government agency (such as immigration applications);*
- Has abused any program providing public benefits;
- Has received a final order of removal, but has not departed; or,
- In the judgement of an immigration officer, is a risk to public safety or national security.
Can I ask for political asylum from outside the US?
NO. To apply for political asylum, you must be in the United States (embassies or diplomatic missions outside the US will not help you in this matter). Being outside the US, you can only apply for refugee status and this procedure is also a complicated procedure.
Can I apply for asylum when crossing the border?
This is possible, and such cases often occur at the border crossing with Mexico. The application directly on the border is an extreme measure. A very important point is that when you cross the border without the necessary permission (US visa) and asylum application, you are most likely to be detained and placed in an immigration prison where you will conduct initial inquiries and check all the facts you previously stated . The decisions of the border service can be delayed for weeks or even months.
Can I apply for political asylum if I am illegally in the US?
You have the right to defend and examine your application, even if you are in an illegal status. It is very important that this happens in the first year of your stay in the country. Otherwise, you have to argue, there are compelling reasons why you did not do this before.
How long does it take to get an interview for asylum?
Beginning on January 29, 2018, the Immigration Department for Asylum (USCIS Citizenship and Immigration Service Group) will give priority to the newest applications when assigning interviews. Such a change in the schedule of interviews will make it possible to weed out those applicants who use groundless statements and try to use this process solely to obtain a work permit and will enable the USCIS to immediately identify such persons and begin the process of their deportation. In reality, the new Priority will allow the USCIS to make decisions on qualified asylum seekers more quickly and efficiently.
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