On June 28, 2018, USCIS issued a Policy Memorandum for the Referral of Cases and Issuances of Notices to Appear (“NTA Memo”). The NTA Memo required USCIS components to create or update operational guidance on NTAs and Referrals to ICE within 30 days. Issuance of the operational guidance remains pending; USCIS has therefore postponed the implementation of PM until the operational guidance is issued.

GLF had issued a Newsletter on July 12, 2018 regarding the NTA Memo- “Harsh New “NTA” Memo- Your H-1B Was Denied? USCIS can Now Place you in Removal Proceedings”. We discussed in detail about the new PM and its priorities, how USCIS has transformed itself into an enforcement agency. Also, we discussed grounds on which USCIS may issue an NTA or refer cases to ICE and the impact of this new NTA policy on H-1B and other denials.

USCIS delaying the implementation of the ill-conceived NTA memo is a welcome relief to the immigrant community, considering the practical implications it has over thousands of individuals in our already overburdened Immigration Court system. At GLF we would continue to watch out for the following:

• Whether there is a possibility of rescinding the NTA memo and issuance of NTAs altogether?
• Whether USCIS may be persuaded to rethink its NTA policy since it will only shuttle more Immigrants into removal proceedings?

GLF is pleased with the decision to postpone the NTA memo implementation. We believe USCIS had not thought through the implementation details of such a sweeping change. USCIS may have also realized the repercussions the NTA policy would have on the Immigration Courts that are already overburdened. GLF hopes that USCIS can be persuaded by stakeholders for a total rescission of NTA memo as it is clearly bad policy. GLF will continue to follow this matter & keep you updated.

GLF will continue to follow further developments in this matter and we will provide updates through our Newsletter as and when they become available.

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