U.S. Stateless Advocates Celebrate New USCIS Guidelines on Statelessness Going Into Effect
—Affects up to 200,000 people in the U.S.
—Will ensure that statelessness is considered in discretionary immigration decisions
—Will raise awareness about statelessness among legal professionals
—May pave the way for future legislation
—In line with international human rights law
(New York, Oct 31, For Immediate Release)—Stateless advocates around the world are celebrating as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services under Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Director Ur Jaddou are implementing a new policy this week to consider statelessness for immigration purposes.
The policy changes include information on how to submit forms and offer much-needed clarity and recognition for the over 200,000 stateless people living in the U.S. Stateless people are those who are not considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law. Critically, USCIS will consider statelessness as a factor in discretionary decisions about immigration relief, including parole in place.
United Stateless and advocates are also pleased to see that USCIS has instituted new policies on non-immigrant exchange students to make room for statelessness as a consideration. Those changes acknowledge that the requirement for international travel may be impossible for some, like stateless students.
The new policies will raise awareness about statelessness among both stateless individuals and legal professionals, enabling them to better identify and advocate for stateless clients and for themselves. This will lead to more effective representation and improved outcomes for stateless individuals navigating the immigration system.
The changes bring the U.S. closer to compliance with international human rights law, which states that every person has the right to a nationality. This will help ensure that stateless people are treated with dignity and respect.
While United Stateless celebrates this step, it calls on Congress to pass the Stateless Protection Act, which would provide stateless people with protected status, green card eligibility, and a pathway to permanent citizenship.
United Stateless Staff Attorney Samantha Sitterley said: “The changes published by USCIS show that this administration is committed to addressing the unique vulnerabilities of the U.S. stateless population. United Stateless will continue to advocate to federal agencies as well as members of Congress as we work together to address statelessness.”
To arrange an interview with a stateless person
or with the Executive Director of United Stateless contact:
Matt Davis Communications
+1 917 526 9530