In just the last two weeks, congressional calls to #EndFamilyDetention have turned the tide of momentum significantly.
AILA Doc No. 09111210 | Dated November 11, 2009
WASHINGTON, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomed the introduction yesterday by U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY), and Russ Feingold (D-WI) of The Military Families Act (S. 2757). The Military Families bill would grant lawful permanent residence status to immediate family members of active immigrant members of the military and veterans even when the sponsoring solider has lost his or her life in service.
"This bill will help hundreds of military families whose immigration status has been in limbo and who have been facing untold heartache and lengthy separations as they seek to be reunited," said LTC Margaret Stock, a member of AILA. "In a time of war, it is fitting that Congress acts to ease the stress on military families. These families are key to our military members' morale and effectiveness on the battlefield and military members' recovery when they return home from the battlefield."
Under the Military Families Act (S. 2757), the Department of Homeland Security would have the authority to adjust the status of an individual to that of lawful permanent resident if the individual is a parent, spouse, child, son or daughter of an Armed Forces member who is serving or has served honorably in an active-duty status in the military, air or naval forces of the United States or the immediate relative of an Armed Forces member who died as a result of injury or disease incurred because of his or her service. The bill would also assist the sons and daughters of Filipino World War II veterans who bravely served our country and whose immigration status has been long deferred due to numerical limitations on immigrant visas.
"The Military Families Act will help ensure that families of those that have served our country with pride and valor don't face unfair and unexpected deportation and are able to remain in this land they call home by including a path towards U.S. citizenship," said Bernard Wolsdorf, President of AILA. "The bill is appropriate as our nation celebrates Veterans Day, and more and more immigrants continue to serve in our military - risking their lives for our country. It will protect family members and allow our nation to show our appreciation for their service and sacrifice to our country.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 09111210.