Trump Continues Attacks on Legal Immigration / by Timothy Bakken

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As of September 12, 2018, the CIS will be able to deny applications and petitions for nonimmigrants (temporary professional workers, students, visitors, and others) and immigrants (green card applicants) without giving applicants an opportunity to provide additional evidence or correct even innocent mistakes. Up until now, CIS could, and usually would, issue an RFE (Request for Evidence) or NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny) if it received a petition or application that presented evidence of eligibility but might have been missing one or more pieces of necessary (or simply helpful) evidence. This new guidance from CIS reminds us of two important points.  First, under the current administration, legal immigration is becoming much more difficult.  Second, it is extremely important to make absolutely sure that all petitions and applications are carefully prepared and comply with all relevant statutes, regulations, and agency guidance. Whereas in the past, one could correct an innocent mistake by providing additional evidence, now a petition or application can be denied without an RFE or NOID. At the very least, this will result in greater expense and time required to refile. In the worst case scenario, the result will be greater numbers of applicants ending up in deportation proceedings, with a subsequent increase in immigration court backlogs.