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American Family Values Compromised

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January 2006
American Family Values Compromised

Imagine that you are a young child, living in a country other than United States and your U.S. based father hasn't been able to see you for over five years. It's not his fault but that of a drastic flaw in the U.S. Immigration Law. This law prohibits you from visiting your father, a green card holder, while your immigrant visa petition is under the process of approval. Imagine living five years (about the length of a typical waiting period) of your young life without your father, him becoming little more than a stranger visiting occasionally.

For many children, this scenario is a reality. Lawful permanent residents (LPRs) are being unfairly separated from their spouse and minor children while their I-130 petitions an application for the green card holder's spouse and minor children to live in the U.S. are pending all because they got married after December 2000.

The long waiting period of five years or more is caused by statutory numerical limitations on available visas, coupled with immigration backlogs and bureaucratic delays. This waiting period breaks up families and sends a wrong message about American family values.

While this loophole is heart wrenching, there is a solution. There is currently a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 1823, which would amend the provisions of a temporary, non-immigrant visa, called the V visa, and would help unite spouses and minor children of legal immigrants with the LPR living in the U.S. The bill was introduced by Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ-1) and currently has nine co-sponsors.

Though H.R. 1823 would amend the provisions of the V-visa and allow foreign resident spouses and minor children of legal immigrants to enter and live in the U.S. temporarily while their I-130 petitions are pending, it is not the final solution. Amending the Immigration and Nationality Act to remove numerical limitations on visas for spouses and minor children of legal immigrants is the solution. H.R. 1823 needs more support. Visit www.UniteFamilies.org to learn more about how to resolve this most pressing issue.

Dream Act Once Again A Possibility

Bipartisan DREAM Act Introduced in Senate: Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced the bipartisan Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act of 2005 (S. 2075) on 11/18/05. Those who closely follow immigration laws are very familiar with this Act.

In a strong show of bipartisan cooperation, Sens. Hagel (R-Neb.), Durbin and Lugar (R-Ind.) joined five Republicans and six Democrats to introduce the DREAM Act, right before the start of the holiday season. The DREAM Act permits undocumented high school graduates who immigrated to the U. S. as minors and have lived in the U.S. for at least five years, to apply for legal status, pursue a college education or join the military and finally become U.S. citizens.

Atlanta CIS Interviews Change Location

US CIS has informed the American Immigration Lawyers Association that as of February 21st, 2006 all permanent residency and related interviews will occur in a facility near Perimeter Mall, on Peachtree Dunwoody Road. Naturalization interviews will remain at the downtown office of US CIS, at 77 Forsyth St.


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