|Still Waiting For the REPAIR Immigration Reform Bill|
|Thursday, 27 May 2010 20:36|
Since Congressional Senators Reid, Schumer and Menendez released an outline of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform proposal called “Real Enforcement with Practical Answers for Immigration Reform” (REPAIR) Act on April 29, the formal Bill was expected to be introduced in Congress this past week for immediate consideration, in light of the controversial new Arizona law.
Instead, on Thursday, May 6, Senator Schumer made a formal request to Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to delay implementing her state's controversial immigration law in order to give Congress a chance to act on immigration reform.
In a letter to Brewer, Schumer requested that the governor call the Legislature back into special session to delay the date the Arizona law takes effect for a year and push one of Arizona's two Republican senators to support the Democrats' outline for an overhaul of immigration law. Schumer’s position is that the delay would give Congress a chance to pass a comprehensive federal immigration reform law that would strengthen U.S. border security and provide a path to legal status and eventual citizenship for millions of immigrants currently in the U.S.
Not surprisingly, Gov. Brewer refused, noting that the State intends to move forward, whether or not the U.S. Congress takes up immigration reform. To many, this unusual request from Schumer, the main sponsor of the REPAIR immigration reform proposal may signal that the Democrats are not planning on tackling immigration before the mid-term elections in November 2010, even in the face of Arizona's crackdown against immigrants in the State. But critics say that the Democrats may never have another opportunity for many years to come – to pass immigration reform, with a Democratic President and control of Congress – at least until November. If the Democrats lose control of Congress, immigration reform may not have a chance of passage for years to come.
Stay tuned for updates on the fate of the REPAIR proposal.
Question: Hi. I’m an American Citizen and my wife is from Jamaica. She lost her I-94 card, so we filed an I-102 to obtain a duplicate. We recently received the duplicate I-94 which states that my wife entered the U.S. in C-1 status. Can you please tell me if this will be a problem when we file for her Green Card?
Answer: That was a smart choice to file the I-102, so at least you are both clear about what your wife’s entry status is on the I-94 card. However, unfortunately, since your wife entered the U.S. with a C-1 crewman visa, even though you are a U.S. Citizen, under current immigration regulations, she is not allowed to adjust status to a Green Card. The law right now is very harsh, but until the comprehensive immigration law passes, we just have to wait. The only other exception would be if your wife was eligible under 245(i), which would have required that either an I-130, I-140, I-360 or labor certification was filed for her or a parent before April 30, 2001.
Your circumstances represent a very common misunderstanding about C & D crewmen visas. This often leads to immigrants innocently filing I-485 adjustment petitions with the USCIS, only to find out at the residency interview that they are not eligible for a Green Card and then may even face deportation. Therefore, the best approach in these cases is to wait until the law changes and not jeopardize a relative by filing any adjustment of status application at this time.
Question: I want to sponsor my dad who is in Trinidad for a Green Card, but I just went through a Bankruptcy, my house is in foreclosure and my credit is really bad. How long do I need to wait before I can file for him?
Answer: Filing for Bankruptcy, having bad credit and even lawsuits does not affect eligibility to sponsor a family member for a Green Card. The main consideration apart from proving the family relationship in an immigration case is proving that the sponsor meets the minimum financial income requirements for the Affidavit of Support (I-864). This means current employment and income. If the sponsor is not able to meet the minimum requirements, a joint-sponsor who does meet the minimum financial income requirements can also file an Affidavit of Support (I-864). The only financial information required to be provided are tax returns, paystubs and an employment verification letter. No credit report or credit scores are ever involved in the process.
*This column is published for the purposes of providing a general understanding of immigration legal issues, as a public service and is not intended to establish an attorney client relationship. Consideration given to any immigration issue is not intended in any way to substitute for individual legal consultation with a licensed attorney. Readers should understand that this column and the foregoing illustrations are subject to different interpretations in each particular immigration case that may arise and no one reading this column should attempt to apply his own particular situation to the principles described herein. Readers with specific legal immigration issues should consult their attorney. If you have an immigration issue and do not know an attorney, you may call your state’s attorney Bar Association.