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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What does it mean? “Heightened Screening and Vetting Procedure” in Immigration

Foreign individuals in the United States, whether documented or undocumented, surprisingly continue to delay addressing their immigration situation.  The U.S. changes in immigration, however, are not being delayed.  Rather the new Presidential Administration continues to move forward with its plans on immigration.  Now, the change may not be a “wall,” but there definitely appears to be immigration changes affecting individuals, families, businesses, and communities. 

In January, President Trump issued an Order to improve immigration enforcement.  In February and March, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) and Department of the State (“DOS”) issued their Memorandums on how the immigration enforcement will take place. 

DHS instructions begins with prioritizing the removal (i.e. deporting) aliens who (1) have a conviction of a crime, (2) have been charged with any crime, (3) have committed acts that are a crime, (4) have made misrepresentations to the government, (5) have abused a public benefit, (6) have been subject to remove before, or (7) pose a risk to public safety.  Considering this priority, any undocumented foreign individual should address how this enforcement affects them individually and begin to address any concern.

Now why prepare now?  Well, that is where the President’s instruction for “heightened screening and vetting procedure” for immigration arises.  Essentially, any person applying for an immigration benefit or status is now subject to increase scrutiny.  If a foreign individual, in the U.S., seeks an exception that may permit them to stay to care for a U.S. citizen family member, the application is now subject to more scrutiny.  If business attempts to help an employee come to the U.S. to work, the process is now subject to more scrutiny.

Eventually, employers will be required to provide more scrutiny as to its workers being authorized to work in the U.S.  Part of the current plans by the new Administration, will mandate employers to use a database (known as E-Verify) that verifies a person’s legal authorization to work in the U.S.

With this priority in immigration enforcement and with increased scrutiny for immigration benefits, any foreign person working in the U.S. needs to look at what documents to begin to gather.  Considering the plans already in place for immigration change, there is no better time to for a person to prepare than now.   

 





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