Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 02031280 (posted Mar. 12, 2002)"
After months of relative inaction on the issue
and motivated by the President’s March 22 meeting with Mexican
President Vicente Fox, the Bush Administration is actively working to
extend Section 245(i). The House of Representatives is expected to vote
on Section 245(i) as early as Tuesday, March 12, as part of the Border
Security Bill. (You may
remember that the House already voted on border security.
The only difference between this border security bill and the one
already passed is that an extension of Section 245(i) is included in
this version.) It is unclear if and when the Senate will take up this
We all know that Section 245(i) is an important
provision that would allow eligible people to adjust in this country. By
pushing for this extension, both the Administration and Congress
recognize that Section 245(i) is pro-family, pro-business, good policy
and makes sense. Not
surprisingly, restrictionists strongly oppose any extension of Section
245(i), alleging (inaccurately) that it is an amnesty, and recognizing
(accurately) that a Section 245(i) vote demonstrates both the
Administration’s and Members of Congress support for an important
immigration issue and that they control neither the Administration nor
Congress. They thus will view any extension of Section 245(i) as a
defeat. And well they
of Current Extension Proposal:
The extension measure currently before Congress is a positive,
but very flawed, gesture. It is positive because it helps to move our issue forward. It
is flawed because it includes
very restrictive language that will significantly limit its benefits.
While this extension proposal appears to extend Section 245(i)
until November 30, 2002, many people will not qualify because of the
additional requirement that eligibility for Section 245(i) be
established prior to August 15, 2001.
For people who are submitting a family-based application, the new
provision would require that the “familial relationship that is the
basis of the application” existed before August 15, 2001. This completely arbitrary date will prevent many
families from benefiting from this new law.
people who are submitting an employment-based application, they would
have to prove that a labor certification was submitted prior to August
15, 2001. The requirement
that an application have been previously filed will render this
extension almost meaningless for employment based applications.
Since Section 245(i) had previously expired, it would have made
no sense for an employer to submit a labor application on behalf of an
employee who needed Section 245(i) at a time when the program did not
August 15, 2001 requirement is unnecessary given the requirement that
the principal beneficiaries of these petitions and applications must
have been physically present in the U.S. on December 21, 2000, the date
of enactment of the LIFE Act Amendments of 2000.
The purpose of this last requirement is to make sure that the
renewed availability of section 245(i) does not operate to encourage
anyone to violate our immigration laws
proposed Section 245(i) extension measure is further complicated by the
short extension period. The
new law either extends Section 245(i) until November 30, 2002, or four
months after the INS issues regulations implementing this law, whichever
is earliest. (And
new regulations would have to be issued, given the new August 15 date by
which the familial relationship is required.)
This short extension will lead to much confusion in communities
nationwide about when people must apply and who is eligible.
Furthermore, notarios will take advantage of the confusion generated by
this imperfect and limited extension.
: AILA repeatedly has pointed to the defects in the proposed Section 245(i) extension, and has urged the Administration and Congress to develop an effective and affirmative adjustment provision, especially in the context of the U.S. Mexico discussions. We will keep you posted.