Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Homeland Security Changes Legalization Process to Keep Families Together Longer

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The Department of Homeland Security announced that beginning March 4th, undocumented immigrants can start their application process for a legal visa without leaving the U.S., a change in the current law which states that immigrants would have to return to their home country for up to six months while undergoing the process.

The new rule would require applicants to leave the U.S. only to retrieve their visa from their native country, reducing the applicant’s time away from their family to as little as one week in some cases.

“The law is designed to avoid extreme hardship to U.S. citizens, which is precisely what this rule achieves,” says Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. “The change will have a significant impact on American families by greatly reducing the time family members are separated from those they rely upon.”

The current law that is being overturned bans undocumented immigrants with an overstayed visa from returning to the U.S. for three to ten years, depending on how long they overstayed in the U.S. This change will affect as many as an estimated 1 million to 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

“The family unity waiver eliminates unnecessary bureaucratic red tape and focuses on what is important: keeping families together,” says Kica Matos, Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice for the Center of Community Change. “[We] are pleased that the Obama administration is using its authority to keep families together and we look forward to more leadership as we embark on the long term solution of immigration reform.”

LA Times
Fox News Latino