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A reported plan by President Joe Biden’s administration would hide the gang history of a foreign national seeking a green card to permanently resettle in the United States and eventually be eligible for American citizenship.
Center for Immigration Studies Director of Regulatory Affairs and Policy Robert Law writes that a source with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reveals that Biden administration officials are planning to throw out Trump-era provisions that screen out the gang history of green card applicants.
Specifically, the Trump administration had sought to add two questions to applications for green card-seeking foreign nationals already in the U.S. on visas. Those questions ask applicants to detail, if any, their history with crime and gangs:
Are you now or have you EVER been a member of, or associated with, a group of three or more persons who acted together in the United States or elsewhere with the aim of committing any crime?
Are you now or have you EVER been a member of, or associated with, a group of three or more persons who acted together to commit and/or to attempt to commit a crime involving more than one country?
Now, because the Trump administration never finalized the application change, Biden officials are planning on throwing out the questions, hiding from USCIS adjudicators the potential gang history of foreign nationals.
A USCIS source tells me that the agency’s political leadership intends to scrap these questions before the Form I-485 is resubmitted to OIRA for approval. This is remarkable for several reasons. First, the Biden political appointees inaccurately call these “politically motivated questions by previous leadership” despite career staff involved in the 2020 form revision project pointing out that the Department of Justice had specifically requested that such information be included in the form. Undeterred, the USCIS political team is reportedly pushing ahead despite being wrong about the origin of these questions. Second, scrapping the gang-related questions deprives adjudicators of a full record to make adjustment of status decisions. The Biden administration appears unconcerned that the absence of gang information in the I-485 will allow bad actors to obtain green cards that would have been denied if only the adjudicator had the information. [Emphasis added]
Earlier this month, a group of House Democrats led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) asked the Biden administration to further gut interior immigration enforcement to protect illegal aliens found to be gang members from being arrested and deported by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.
The House Democrats are urging Biden to expand his “sanctuary country” orders that are preventing about 9-in-10 deportations of illegal aliens to include those accused of being gang members.
“It is well documented that law enforcement’s practices of labeling people as ‘gang-involved’ is often faulty, based on arbitrary and racist factors, and not subject to due process,” the House Democrats write, adding:
ICE’s use of gang allegations to justify detention and deny people status is notoriously error-prone and prejudicial. Giving ICE the discretion to determine what qualifies as ‘gang activity’ doubles down on an arbitrary and discriminatory framework used by law enforcement.
Today, there are anywhere from 11 to 22 million illegal aliens living in the U.S. while the federal government rewards green cards to about 1.2 million foreign nationals every year. Another roughly 1.4. million foreign nationals annually are given visas to work and live in the U.S.