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New Immigration Policy to Help Clear Backlog of Cases


A new immigration policy was announced by the White House in August 2011, in part to help clear the backlog of cases in the immigration court system. The policy will create a working group made up of members of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. This working group will review the approximately 300,000 cases that are already pending before the immigration courts and break them down into high priority or low priority. Individuals whose cases are considered low priority may have their court cases closed, instead of facing a deportation order by an immigration judge.

How do I know if my court case will be closed?

There are no set rules for deciding the order in which cases will be closed, but the group will consider age, length of residence in the United States, physical or mental health disabilities, family ties, and status as a victim of domestic violence or other crimes.

Will I be granted amnesty or a work permit under this policy?

Be aware that this is not an amnesty policy. It is also not a way to get a work permit or legal status in the United States. It is only a policy to review cases that are already pending before an immigration court. People whose court cases are closed may be able to apply for a work permit afterwards.

For more information…

For more information about your legal rights and options, you should first speak with an immigration attorney. Relying on a “notario” or immigration authorities can be extremely risky and could even result in detention and/or deportation. (For more information about notarios, please see Warning to Immigrants: Beware of the Unauthorized Practice of Law by Notaries Public in New Jersey.)

This information last reviewed 10/28/11.


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