Refugees and asylees will face more restrictions on family reunion.
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In recent weeks, the president’s government Donald trump It has imposed new rules that make legal immigration protection processes more complicated, including family requests for asylum and refuge.
This Tuesday the Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a memorandum that will allow the in-person interviews to be applied to relatives of asylees or refugees who file Form I-730.
“These additional interviews will provide an opportunity to assess the credibility of the petitioner, which supports our mission to detect and prevent fraud and risks that could harm the United States,” the agency said.
It adds that this requirement – the only one that is being modified at the moment – was applied “on a case-by-case basis,” when the officers considered that it “could not resolve” certain eligibility issues.
“Increased in-person interviews will provide an additional level of verification to ensure the genuineness of the family relationship.”, the agency said.
It indicated that the decision will depend on whether the petitioners and beneficiaries are in the United States or abroad; They will be notified of the decision, but the first phase of the plan will affect those in the country.
The three phases are:
- Phase 1: Petitioners and Beneficiaries in the U.S.
- Phase 2: In the case of petitioners and beneficiaries located in a USCIS jurisdiction, but at least one (usually the beneficiary) is located in a USCIS jurisdiction abroad.
- Phase 3: For cases in petitioners and beneficiaries where at least one is in a jurisdiction of the Department of State (DOS) abroad.
“USCIS has regulatory authority to require an interview of any applicant, petitioner, sponsor, or other person in connection with an application or petition for immigration benefits.”, justified the agency.
Form I-730 is filed by an asylee or refugee on behalf of a spouse or child.
“Eligible spouses or unmarried children can receive asylum or refugee status as beneficiaries,” it says. “Form I-1730 beneficiaries do not have to independently qualify as asylees and refugees; they derive the status by virtue of their relationship with the petitioner ”.
Activists have warned that the Trump Administration has pushed for “last minute” changes before the end of his term before the arrival of the president-elect Joe biden.
“This policy shows that, on immigration, the Trump Administration is playing until the final whistle, this time, to the serious detriment of refugees and asylees seeking to reunite with their families., lament Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. “Repeatedly, their policies have prioritized a misguided crusade against immigration fraud over the sacred principle that families should be together.”
He adds that the USCIS decision amid the coronavirus pandemic will put immigrants at risk.
“Refugees have already been through war, violence, persecution and years of extreme investigation only to begin their chance at a new life… It is shameful to add another bureaucratic bureaucratic hurdle in bad faith to reunite petitioners with the family that is still in danger ”, he considered.