It appears that U.S. immigration officials are looking for ways to get through a massive backlog of cases in its courts. One way may be to stop removal proceedings against certain people.
According to Buzzfeed News, an official from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently sent a memo to judges in the Executive Office for Immigration Review (the U.S. immigration court system) ordering them to remove certain removal (also known as deportation) cases from their calendars. People whose removal cases might get dismissed include:
- People with various immigration applications pending, such as getting a green card through a relative
- People with limited protection from deportation, including those with an approved visa application or eligibility for temporary protected status
- Children seeking asylum or escaping abusive or neglectful parents
The issue is the EOIR courts have so many pending cases that they have to make priorities. It also reflects ICE’s recent change in philosophy. Before the ICE memo, White House officials authorized judges to dismiss cases where the immigrant facing deportation has been in the U.S. for a long time and is not considered a threat to public safety.
Keep planning for your hearing
If you have a deportation trial coming up, it’s possible that your case will get put on hold or dismissed. But until you and your lawyer hear this is happening, you must prepare as if it is still happening. The good news is, you still might avoid having to leave the country. Immigration law is complex, and there may be a solution that lets you stay here with your family.