These policy changes will impact legal immigrants in the U.S. in 2019

Here are five USCIS changes in immigration regulations and policy updates that affect legal immigrants with visas and green cards in the United States and likely will increase deportations in 2019. By Marta Oliver Craviotto | Daniel Shoer Roth

In 2018, the Trump administration pushed to cut down on legal immigration and strengthen the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to enforce immigration laws.

Among the changes were U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations and procedures that affect immigrants who entered legally the United States — particularly pertaining to deportations. However, not all of the new rules are punitive. Some help foreign citizens obtain immigration benefits such as green cards or permanent residence.

“Each year, immigration benefits are attainable for many law-abiding individuals legitimately seeking greater opportunity, prosperity, and security as newly entrusted members of society,” USCIS spokesman Michael Bars said in a statement. The immigration agency, “is committed to rule-of-law and merit-based immigration reforms that benefit U.S. workers, the American people, and our society to the greatest extent possible.”

Here is a summary by of five changes or updates in U.S. immigration regulations that will affect immigrants in 2019.

New deportation guidelines

new procedure for issuing Notices to Appear or NTAs expands the list of reasons for which immigrants can be summoned to appear before immigration judges to start deportation procedures.

The updated list includes violations of federal or state programs related to “the reception of public benefits”, fraudulent or criminal activity, and denials of immigration benefits such as a visa that result in the loss of status to remain legally in U.S territory.


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