The Trump administration has made it easier for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to immediately deny visa applications if there is missing or inaccurate information.
Under the previous guidance, issued in 2013, applicants were given 30 days to fix any issues. The new policy eliminates that grace period. They also won’t be notified in advance that their request might be denied, but will instead be given a final statutory denial.
The change will take effect September 11, 2018.
If their request is denied, immigrants could suddenly face deportation. They will essentially be treated like criminals, who are also placed on fast-track deportation upon conviction.
“Under the law, the burden of proof is on an applicant, petitioner, or requestor to establish eligibility - not the other way around,” said USCIS spokesperson Michael Bars in an email to CBS News. The memo emphasizes that the new policy will discourage “frivolous or substantially incomplete” applications.
Although the memo claims the policy is “not intended to penalize filers for innocent mistakes,” there’s no doubt this is a new attack on legal immigrants.
“It’s just a smokescreen. If every ‘t’ is not crossed, and every ‘i’ is not dotted, they can deny the claim,” California-based immigration attorney David Acalin said, according to CBS News.