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ICE issues a new directive on deportation standards for U visa applicants, replacing illegal Trump-era policy

In August 2021, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a new directive on deportation standards for U visa applicants, replacing the illegal policy implemented by former and purported Acting Director Matthew Albence. Under the new directive, ICE will refrain from deporting or otherwise taking enforcement actions against noncitizens with pending, properly filed U visa applications absent exceptional circumstances in which an individual poses a national security threat or an articulable risk of causing physical harm.

This is a win for both the plaintiffs in the case, ASISTA Immigration Assistance and Sanctuary for Families, and the survivors that they serve. Because this new directive restores protections analogous to those eliminated by the Albence policy, Protect Democracy and the Constitutional Accountability Center dismissed this litigation shortly after implementation of the new policy.

The conclusion of this litigation is a reminder of the real impact that illegally serving acting officials can have on the lives of individuals—and how illegally serving acting officials can complicate the ability of federal agencies to implement new policies.

For more information about all of the claims made in this lawsuit, visit the ASISTA v. Albence case page. For more information about our work to reassert the the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, click here.