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Undocumented green card applicant detained at ICE interview

People in Denver applying for a green card or U.S. permanent residency may be concerned about how the immigration policies of the Trump administration could affect their applications. In some cases, people who were undocumented in the United States but are now applying for green cards due to marriage to a citizen have faced detention and threats of deportation. Two civil liberties organizations have filed a lawsuit against the government to block the practice after a man was arrested in New York at an ICE office, where he went to begin his green card application.

The man, married to an American, is being held in a detention center in New Jersey, although a judge blocked his deportation to El Salvador on a temporary basis. Existing policy allows undocumented immigrants to apply for a green card if they are eligible, and the man involved in the case was voluntarily attending the immigration office for a green card interview. A lawyer in the case said that the man and his wife were essentially tricked into going to the office, told that they would be interviewed about the legitimacy and documentation of their marriage.

The regulation that allows this type of application by undocumented immigrants was created during the Obama administration and remains on the books, but lawyers say that the current administration is violating the rule without changing the policy. The detained man's wife says that she was told that an internal memo was circulated for the arrest and deportation of people with removal orders who came in for scheduled ICE interviews.

People who are undocumented may have concerns about the political and legal climate surrounding immigration in the U.S. An immigration lawyer might be able to help people navigate complicated rules and policies in order to apply for a green card or permanent residency or to regularize their status.

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