More on the immigration regulations in the previous post.
It’s interesting – besides the obvious – because of the line in the second paragraph about “what administrations do.” This was not the line we heard when the Bush Administration was regulation on conscience laws and health care.
These are precisely the immigrants who have been waiting in line and now face a bureaucratic challenge to obtaining the physical green cards.
The proposed rule change falls precisely within the scope of what administrations do. The regulatory change is important because, under current procedures, some persons who have already met the eligibility requirements for green cards must leave the U.S. to obtain their permanent residence status, but as soon as they leave, they are immediately barred from re-entering the U.S. for three or ten years because of a period of unlawful presence in the United States. There is a family unity waiver available, but the way the law is currently implemented, the waiver can only be adjudicated abroad. That adjudication can often take many months, leaving the applicants in limbo, waiting to find out if the waiver has been approved and if they will be able to go back to the U.S to join their US citizen or legal resident family member. As a result, many otherwise eligible applicants do not leave the country to get their green cards, remaining unauthorized in the U.S. rather than risk separation from their families. Under the proposed rule change, spouses and children of U.S. citizens who are eligible for a green card would be allowed to apply for the waiver without leaving the U.S. They would still be required to depart from the U.S. before receiving final approval and their green card.