Washington, D.C. — The last administration promulgated a rule to use provisions of existing law to help undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens obtain lawful status. Now, the Trump administration is using that same rule to entrap people into coming forward so that they can more easily be arrested, detained, and deported, according to a new column released today from the Center for American Progress. A federal court in Maryland recently blocked such enforcement actions in the state as likely arbitrary and capricious.
“Instead of capitalizing on provisions of existing law to promote compliance with our immigration laws, the Trump administration routinely pursues an ineffective, counterproductive, and cruel deportation-only approach to immigration enforcement. The provisional waiver process created during the Obama administration is a sensible effort to encourage undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens to come forward and apply for relief that they are entirely eligible for under current law so that they may replace their unlawful status with lawful permanent residence. Using this program to instead entice people to come forward—at the invitation of the U.S. government—so that they may more easily be arrested, detained, and deported not only illegally perverts the goals of the program itself, but also fundamentally undermines the rule of law,” says Tom Jawetz, vice president of Immigration Policy at CAP and author of the column.
The column also adds that aside from much-needed legislative reforms, administrative actions such as the provisional waiver process can be used to leverage opportunities to promote fair and just outcomes—even within the substantial constraints of the existing legal system.
Read the column: “Bait and Switch: How the Trump Administration Is Trying to Deport Spouses of U.S. Citizens” by Tom Jawetz
“Board of Immigration Appeals Greenlights Deportation of Immigrants Eligible for and Deserving of Relief” by Tom Jawetz
“Restoring the Rule of Law Through a Fair, Humane, and Workable Immigration System” by Tom Jawetz
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