Under federal law, anyone who has entered the country without a legal status has an opportunity to obtain legal status, whether it is through a visa program, by obtaining asylum or by gaining permanent residency. This is true in some cases even if there is already a deportation order set for the individual in question; legally, they have a right to try to cure their immigration status. By arresting people seeking permanent residency after their marriage interviews, they are interfering with immigrants’ legal right to seek legal status and chilling the entire legal immigration process.
U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel has criticized the practice
, calling it “a honeypot to trap undocumented immigrants who seek to take advantage of [the process’] protections." He has already reversed a deportation of a Chinese man who was detained after a successful marriage interview and is currently overseeing another case with this occurred with an immigrant from Honduras. This, combined with the ACLU case, practically guarantees that this will be a source of litigation for months or years to come.
If you are a non-citizen seeking permanent residency or other immigration relief, please call the attorneys at Bretz & Coven LLP. We will help you through the difficult process of applying for a green card, protecting your rights and giving you the best chance possible at attaining legal status. To schedule a consultation with our New York immigration lawyers, call (212) 267-2555 or visit our contact page.