Court Says ICE Should Not Remove Green Card Applicants Who Have Deportation Orders

In a federal court in Boston, US District Judge Mark Wolf has stated that immigrants with final orders of removal should not be deported just because they are in the process of applying for a green card. The judge indicated that he was not precluding ICE from effectuating removals, but said that the agency can only do so in these cases after considering that the individuals with deportation orders are also seeking “provisional waivers,” which permit undocumented immigrants to pursue citizenship.

The ACLU filed this case against the Department of Homeland Security on behalf of five New England couples comprised of US citizens who are married to undocumented immigrants who were detained by ICE after appearing for marriage interviews. The judge’s recent ruling is not a preliminary injunction however, meaning that it will not prevent ICE from carrying out deportations. It is unclear if there will be any adverse consequences for the agency if it does not heed the judge’s instructions.

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Photo credit: / Evegenia Parajanian