From The Associated Press:
By AMY TAXIN
Jan. 6, 2012
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration proposed a rule change Friday to reduce the time that illegal immigrant spouses and children are separated from their American relatives while they try to gain legal status in the United States.
Currently, many illegal immigrants must leave the country before they can ask the government to waive a three- to 10-year ban on legally coming back to the U.S. The length of the ban depends on how long they have lived in the U.S. without permission.
The new rule would let children and spouses of citizens ask the government to decide on the waiver request before they head to their home country to apply for a visa.
The illegal immigrants would still have to go abroad to finish the visa process, but getting the waiver approved in advance would reduce the time an illegal immigrant is out of the country from months to days or weeks, said Alejandro Mayorkas, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The purpose is “to minimize the extent to which bureaucratic delays separate Americans from their families for long periods of time,” Mayorkas told reporters.
The waiver shift is the latest move by President Barack Obama to make changes to immigration policy without congressional action. Congressional Republicans repeatedly have criticized the administration for policy changes they describe as providing “backdoor amnesty” to illegal immigrants. (more…)
Filed under: Deportation, DREAM Act, immigrant community, Immigration and Customs Enforcement | Tagged: Barack Obama, children, illegal immigrants, Janet Napolitano, spouses, undocumented immigrants, visa, waivers | Leave a Comment »