October 20, 2017

Extra hurdle for green card applicants as Trump administration rolls out new rule

The Trump administration announced Monday that more green card applicants will now be required to go through an interview before becoming permanent residents.

This is a step towards reducing the number of legal immigrants entering the US to settle permanently.

Although it is required by law for all green card applicants to be interviewed, the USCIS had waived interviews for various visa categories, focusing more on higher-risk cases, according to CNN.

Under the new rule, green card applicants based on their employment or for refugee and asylee relatives will be subject to an interview.

Previously, those applying for employment-based green cards had their interviews waived, especially if they had extraordinary abilities and if the employer petitioning on their behalf was the same one that sponsored their initial work visa.

The new injunction is a branch of President Trump’s executive order commonly known as ”travel ban” which restricts various nationalities from entering the US.

The new policy will be effective from October 1, 2017.

Although Monday’s order does not affect fiancés and parents of US citizens whose interviews remain waived, USCIS said in an updated release on Monday that the agency plans to incrementally expand interviews in other categories.

Obama administration USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez criticized the decision to interview all employment-based applicants, saying it doesn’t seem to be matched to a particular threat or national security.
“You are applying a limited resource to do this,” said Rodriguez, now a partner at Seyfarth Shaw. “The question is, why? Really, in terms of the ways you could be screening people in for interviews, why is employment-based a risk, compared to other categories and other ways that you might screen for risk? And I’m not sure that I’m able to tell you why I would put all employment-based green card applicants at the front of the line for interviews as opposed to anybody else.”

Trump administration argued that individual interviews would allow their officers to assess case by case, verify applications and assess applicants’ credibility.

By Jamhuri News Reporter

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