Major Change to USCIS Policy on Issuing NTAs
Recent changes to United States Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (USCIS) policy on issuing Notices to Appear (NTAs) are expected to have massive consequences for many immigrants currently residing in the United States.
What are NTAs?
A Notice to Appear (NTA) is a document which informs the recipient of their obligation to attend removal proceedings in court before an immigration judge. Up until the June 28th memo, the majority of NTAs were issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Few NTAs were issued by USCIS.
What is changing?
The June 28, 2018, memorandum released by USCIS indicates that USCIS will begin issuing NTAs in certain cases in which a benefit has been denied. This creates an enormous disincentive for foreign nationals to seek benefits from USCIS. It also effectively turns the benefits arm of the Department of Homeland Security into an enforcement agency like ICE. We at Morales & Sparks strongly disagree with this new policy.
This new USCIS policy, combined with the countless other changes to immigration policy since President Trump took office, is expected to cause a reduction in applications for benefits, while worsening the backlog in the immigration court system.