Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers of Inadmissibility

Friday, March 30, 2012

Adela de la Torre (213) 674-2832

Proposed Immigration Rule: A Good Step Toward Family Unity

WASHINGTON  — On Monday, April 2, the Obama administration will publish its proposed rule(PDF) to amend the immigration system to allow certain “immediate relatives” (spouse, parents, and unmarried children under the age of 21) of U.S. citizens to remain in the United States while their immigration applications are processed. The administration will accept public comments on the proposed rules for sixty days, at which point the Department of Homeland Security will review comments and finalize the rule.

“The Obama administration should be commended for taking this commonsense step toward keeping families together,” said Don Lyster, the National Immigration Law Center’s Washington, DC, office director. “Currently, families must spend weeks or months separated from their spouses in order to begin the process of adjusting their immigration status. These separations are extremely difficult for millions of American families and often prevent members of immigrant families from even beginning the status adjustment process.”

“However, the Obama administration stopped short of extending the same commonsense rule to spouses of lawful permanent residents and siblings of U.S. citizens,” said Adey Fisseha, policy attorney at the National Immigration Law Center. “We urge the administration to reconsider its position, since these families are also unfairly separated when they begin the process of adjusting a loved one’s immigration status and the hardships they endure are just as painful as those citizen families undergo.”

Added Lyster, “We will continue to do everything we can to ensure that this rule change will keep as many American families together as possible. The Obama administration has shown that it truly supports family values by introducing this rule change. We hope it will extend these values to all families currently suffering due to our broken immigration system.”