Immigrants are not aliens. Being undocumented is not illegal. And finally, our leaders in government agree. On May 27, 2021, a memorandum was issued to all Department of Homeland Security (DHS) attorneys nationwide, which issued guidance and directives in order to apply President Biden’s priorities for immigration enforcement.

This week I will be proving a breakdown of what this new immigration memo means to you. Today, I will answer the following:

What if I am already in deportation proceedings, but I need administrative closure or termination to file the stateside unlawful presence waiver?

The answer is, “you will be able to have your case administratively closed and or terminated to pursue the unlawful presence waiver.”

According to this new memo, ICE attorneys can consider dismissing cases for immigrants who have been longtime green card holders, are pregnant or elderly, have a serious health condition, or have been in the US from a young age. ICE attorneys also have broad consideration to take into account other mitigating factors, like whether the immigrant has strong family ties in the U.S., their work history, or other contributions to their community. Cases can also be dismissed if a defendant serves in the military or has a family member who does.

The memo references the former policy of not allowing for administrative closure or dismissal based on existing case law, however, it specifically states:

Nevertheless, OPLA retains authority to handle pending cases on EOIR’s docket by deciding whether to agree to a continuance for “good cause shown” under 8 C.F.R. § 1003.29, see also Matter of L-B-R-, I&N Dec. 405 (A.G. 2018) (interpreting this regulation), and whether to seek, oppose, or join in a motion for dismissal of proceedings pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 1239.2(c).

The factors that DHS will consider in deciding whether to agree to terminate proceedings to file an unlawful presence waiver are as follows:

Military Service Members Family Members
Individuals likely to be granted temporary or permanent relief
Compelling Humanitarian Factors
Significant Law Enforcement or Other Governmental Interest
Long-Term Lawful Permanent Residents

In light of these changes, if you are in deportation proceedings, and would like to apply for the stateside unlawful presence waiver it is important that you explore all available options by speaking with an Austin immigration lawyer. During your consultation, an immigration attorney will be able to gather the relevant facts and advise as to whether you have a good chance of getting your case dismissed or terminated, or if it is better for you to remain in deportation proceedings and move forward on an application for relief.

To speak with an experienced Austin immigration lawyer about the new enforcement policy memo or about deportation proceedings, please call today at (512) 215-4407, or contact the firm online, to learn more. Call Us Today to Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Immigration Attorney

Coronavirus update: We are safely open for business! USCIS is still accepting new filings for all applications. Our office is offering virtual consultations for new clients so that you don't have to come to our office in person. Call us to schedule your virtual meeting today.
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