Trump Admin Bans Communist Immigrants

Members of Communist parties or totalitarian groups “inadmissible,” DHS announces

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The Department of Homeland Security has announced that known Communists and members of other totalitarian groups will be barred from obtaining legal immigration status in the United States.

A policy alert issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) addresses “inadmissibility based on membership in or affiliation with the Communist or any other totalitarian party.”

The new guidance is being added to the USCIS Policy Manual and “supersedes any related prior guidance on the topic,” the agency says.

USCIS explains the background for the policy update as follows:

The inadmissibility ground for membership in or affiliation with the Communist or any other totalitarian party is part of a broader set of laws passed by Congress to address threats to the safety and security of the United States. In general, unless otherwise exempt, any immigrant who is or has been a member of or affiliated with the Communist or any other totalitarian party (or subdivision or affiliate), domestic or foreign, is inadmissible to the United States. This ground of inadmissibility only applies to aliens seeking immigrant status, such as aliens inside the United States applying to adjust status to that of a lawful permanent resident.

Immigration officers must follow a step-by-step process to assess if a candidate should be classified as inadmissible, which involves determining:

– whether they have belonged to a Communist organization or any other totalitarian party
– whether the alien’s involvement rises to the level of membership in or affiliation with such organization
– whether their membership or affiliation was “meaningful”

There are also a small handful of exceptions that can apply, such as if the candidate was an involuntary member of such a group, if they were legally obligated to be, or if the involvement occurred prior to the age of 16.

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