A USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) office in Boston seems to have been aiding local ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officials in arresting undocumented immigrants that are married to U.S. citizens.
Internal emails appear to show that undocumented immigrant spouses of U.S. citizens are being arrested when they show up for their green card interviews.
The ACLU is working with the WilmerHale law firm in Massachusets to bring forth an immigration case that includes these internal e-mails.
According to the e-mails, USCIS and ICE have coordinated interview times for undocumented immigrants that would allow an ICE agent to be available to arrest the immigrant when they get to the interview. This can also begin the removal process.
The e-mails even say that ICE and USCIS wanted to make the arresting at interviews sporadic and over long periods of time so that the practice would not draw media attention. One e-mail asked USCIS to delay an interview by fifteen minutes because ICE was “getting a late start.”
The ACLU terms these practices as a “trap.”
Matthew Segal, an attorney with the ACLU that represents the plaintiffs in the suit, said, “They have represented to the public that people can come in for these interviews and be safe from arrest unless they pose a threat to public safety or national security…And at the very same time that USCIS was making those claims, it was working behind people’s backs to have them arrested.”
Michael Bars, a USCIS spokesman, said, “As a matter of policy, USCIS is unable to comment on matters involving pending litigation…In general, however, when USCIS officers encounter an individual with an outstanding administrative or criminal want or warrant or removal order, they will notify the appropriate law enforcement agency but has no role in issuing warrants or removal orders.”
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