KIND's Opposition to Changes to USCIS Policy Manual on Applying Discretion

August 17, 2020

Opposition to Changes to USCIS Policy Manual

Applying Discretion

KIND submitted opposition to recent revisions to the USCIS Public Policy manual related to the use of discretion in adjudications.  These changes will sow confusion and uncertainty for applicants, petitioners, and beneficiaries, encourage arbitrary and capricious decision-making, and undermine USCIS’s ability to fairly and efficiently process applications and petitions for immigration benefits. Although KIND has joined in several letters signed by many organizations voicing general opposition to these changes, we write separately to address the specific impact these changes will have on the unaccompanied children we serve. From KIND’s perspective, these changes do nothing to advance better decision-making and, instead, perpetuate a misunderstanding of how to balance equities in cases where a child is the petitioner, beneficiary, or applicant. Withdrawing the new guidance and engaging with stakeholders to develop a better framework for decision-making is the only reasonable outcome.

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