ILRC Opposes November 2020 USCIS Changes to the Policy Manual on Discretion in Adjustment

Policy Advocacy
Publication Date

ILRC filed comments opposing USCIS’s changes to discretion in adjustment because they violate existing case law. The changes represent an attempt to impose new eligibility requirements that are also a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) because they went into effect without the required regulatory notice and comment process. The agency has provided no explanation for this abrupt departure from prior procedure and application of the law. In addition, the policy manual will unduly burden eligible applicants and USCIS adjudicators by requiring a separate, lengthy adjudication of thirty specific discretionary factors under a heightened burden of proof that requires adjustment applicants to show “clearly and beyond doubt” that they are eligible for adjustment. The new emphasis on a balancing of a myriad of factors invites arbitrary and inconsistent application of the law.