President Donald Trump is following through on his promise to implement “extreme vetting” of foreign nationals seeking entry to the United States via Green Cards and the refugee resettlement program.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that at the beginning of October, it will now mandate that an in-person interview take place before any foreign national already in the U.S. on a business visa is granted permanent legal residence through a Green Card.
The interview mandate also applies to foreign refugees who are attempting to bring their relatives to the U.S.
“Part of our USCIS strategy to support this uniform baseline is the incremental expansion of interviews for those benefit types which would provide permanent residence in the United States,” Acting USCIS Director James W. McCament said in a statement.
“This change reflects the Administration’s commitment to upholding and strengthening the integrity of our nation’s immigration system,” McCament said. “USCIS and our federal partners are working collaboratively to develop more robust screening and vetting procedures for individuals seeking immigration benefits to reside in the United States.”
The new extreme vetting guidelines come as part of Trump’s “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” Executive Order, which called for stricter rules for foreign nationals trying to enter the U.S. in order to keep Americans safe.
Conducting in-person interviews for Green Card-seekers, of which more than one million enter the U.S. every year under current legal immigration levels, was not previously required by federal law.
But, it’s not just refugees’ relatives and Green Card-seekers who will be under new extreme vetting procedures by the federal government. USCIS officials said they are planning an “incremental expansion” of the extreme vetting rules to include more visa categories that foreign nationals can enter the U.S. on.
“Conducting in-person interviews will provide USCIS officers with the opportunity to verify the information provided in an individual’s application, to discover new information that may be relevant to the adjudication process, and to determine the credibility of the individual seeking permanent residence in the United States,” a press release by USCIS stated. “USCIS will meet the additional interview requirement through enhancements in training and technology as well as transitions in some aspects of case management.”
The new USCIS vetting rules come just as Trump’s State Department increased procedures for foreign students who are attempting to come to the U.S. temporarily, as Breitbart Texas reported.
Under the new guidelines by the State Department, officials will now refuse student visas to foreign nationals who show no evidence or plan of returning to their native countries.
As Breitbart Texas reported, in the 2016 Fiscal Year, nearly 630,000 foreign nationals overstayed their visas. Of those overstays, an estimated 545,000 of those now illegal aliens were still in the U.S. as of January 2017.
In that same fiscal year, 42,500 foreign students overstayed, creating a backlog for immigration officials and ballooning the illegal alien population every year.