Jul 8, 2011

Immigration Crackdown: Obscure Law A Clear Break For Military Spouses Here Illegally

Obscure Law A Clear Break For Military Spouses Here Illegally | Fronteras: "Mireya Moya hesitated about becoming an illegal immigrant in the United States. But when her U.S. work visa petition was denied, she felt she had no other choice.

Four years after she settled in San Antonio, her immigration status caught up with her. She couldn’t enter a military hospital to visit her husband after he came back from Afghanistan severely wounded.

“I crossed illegally so they want me to go to Mexico for one to 10 years,” she recalled.

U.S. Army Sgt. Ivan Moya was told he’d never walk again. But at least he still had Mireya by his side — the girl he had chased after his whole life.

“I first saw her when I was 8 years old in Mexico,” he said, flashing a shy but lasting smile. “My grandma lives a few houses down from her mom and one day I saw her at a wedding and from then on I knew I was in love.”

As a U.S. citizen, Ivan tried to sponsor her for legal residency. But she’d have to go back to Mexico to apply and face a wait of up to a decade to return.

But then their lawyer told them that the regional director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the federal immigration benefits agency, was using his discretionary power to give a pass to military spouses so they could process paperwork here and not have to leave.

That pass is a document called parole in place."

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