Applicants For Immigration Benefits Busted — Will This Become the Norm?

Kristine Phillips resorts in the Washington Post:

“Leandro Arriaga has been in the United States illegally since 2001.

He stayed despite a deportation order and over the past 16 years has made a living fixing and remodeling homes. He also started a family. But the father of four had grown tired of “living in the shadows,” his attorney said.

So last week, he went to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office for his marriage petition interview — the first step to legalize his presence in the United States through his wife, a naturalized citizen. The process, called an I-130 visa petition, is a common way for foreigners to gain legal residency through their relatives or spouses.

But Arriaga was arrested that day, along with four others who also showed up at the USCIS office in Lawrence, Mass. All five have deportation orders, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.”


Are such incidents merely anecdotal, or do they represent a clear change in policy? Maybe the effect is the same. If migrants believe that visiting DHS field offices to apply for immigration benefits will put them at risk, they will stop doing it, regardless of what the “actual policy” might be.

I’d be interested in any comments from readers about what you are seeing or hearing in your areas.