07/06/2018
Christina DiPasquale, Balestra Media

For Immediate Release: July 5, 2018
Contact: Christina DiPasquale, christina [at] balestramedia.com, (202) 716-1953

New Memo: Trump Administration Plan to Initiate Removal Proceedings Against a Larger Number of Immigrants will Cause More Panic and Fear, Says Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Today, the Trump administration released a memo expanding the universe of individuals who will be deported from the United States. The memo specifically addresses when individuals will be issued Notices to Appear (NTA), the charging document that places people in removal proceedings. Up until today’s change, people seeking an immigration benefit—including victims of crime (U visas), human trafficking (T visas), and domestic violence (VAWAs), as well as applicants for green cards and naturalization—would receive NTAs in limited circumstances. This latest government memo states that from this point forward, the Trump Administration will initiate removal proceedings against any individual denied an immigration benefit if that individual lacks status. This move by the Trump administration to deport more immigrants will tear apart more families. It will also have a chilling effect that will discourage immigrants from applying for benefits that they deserve and qualify for, particularly in this enforcement-oriented environment.

Said Sameera Hafiz, senior policy strategist at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:

“This newest change in immigration policy from the Trump administration will have a major chilling effect for individuals applying for immigration benefits. An application for immigration benefits can be denied for any number of reasons, including the need for further documentation, technical errors, and other issues. For individuals trying to escape domestic violence, human trafficking, and other serious life-threatening situations, receiving a potentially unfounded removal notice from the government is incredibly distressing and exacerbates the bureaucratic issues through which people are trying to obtain a legal pathway to residency and citizenship.

“People are already scared enough. This is just another example of the Trump administration undercutting legal immigration - while they try to make the issue about undocumented immigration, they are also working to obstruct the ways in which undocumented people can seek and gain legal immigration status. This memo is yet another example that the Trump administration is pursuing an agenda of ensuring people of color are excluded from its version of America, and we should all shine a spotlight on racism and xenophobia in all of its forms.”

For interviews with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, please contact Christina DiPasquale at christina [at] balestramedia.com or (202) 716-1953.

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The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC’s mission is to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities. www.ilrc.org