Jan 6, 2012

Immigration Reform: Obama administration eases deportation rules

And, of course, the political debate immediately begins over the proposed change that would allow hardship waivers for undertaking green card applications to be completed in the U.S. rather than at a U.S. consulate abroad.

Washington Times: "The Obama administration on Friday proposed new hardship rules that would make it easier for illegal immigrants to apply for legal status and stay in the country if they have a spouse or parent already living here legally. Homeland Security officials ... said the goal is to cut down the time that those illegal immigrants are separated from their families while they await a decision on an application for legal visas.

“The focus on family unification of U.S. citizens and their immediate relatives is consistent with Congress’s prioritization in the immigration laws,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in the proposal submitted to the Federal Register. She said the new rules wouldn’t change who ends up getting legal status, but only lets those who are applying stay in the U.S. while those applications are pending.

But House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, said Mr. Obama was “bending long-established rules to put illegal immigrants ahead of the interests of American citizens and legal immigrants." read more

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