Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 28me1012 (posted May. 23, 2001)"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2001
AILA Senior Director of Advocacy
Passes Limited Section 245(i)
Extension with Additional Restriction:
is Not Enough Time and Restriction is Unworkable
D.C. -- The House of Representatives on May 21 passed a limited
extension of Section 245(i) by a vote of 336-43.
H.R. 1885 would extend the Section 245(i) deadline for only four
months, while also requiring beneficiaries to demonstrate that the
required familial or employment relationship existed on or before April
30, 2001. “While this
proposal ultimately may expedite the passage of an extension, said
Jeanne Butterfield, Executive Director of the American Immigration
Lawyers Association, “the four-month window would offer insufficient
time, cause needless delays and hardships for people seeking Section
245(i) relief, and prove difficult for the INS to administer. We call on
Republican Congressional leadership to get behind a measure that will
work for immigrants, their American citizen families, their communities,
and this country. We also call on President Bush to support a longer
extension with no additional requirement.”
we are concerned with the short four-month window,” continued Ms.
Butterfield, “we also are concerned about the impact of the new
requirement.” Given this new requirement, INS would have to issue a
new regulation which would take them a minimum of three months.”
The short four-month window, along with the new requirement, will
cause panic and confusion among immigrants and create an opportunity for
unscrupulous and fraudulent immigration “advisors.”
Past experience argues for a clean extension of a longer period
of time without new provisions.
hope that the final measure that Congress passes,” said Ms.
Butterfield, “moves closer to the bill introduced in the Senate, S.
778, by Senators Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA).”
S. 778 would extend the Section 245(i) deadline for one-year
without the restriction in the House proposal.
AILA strongly supports
the extension of Section 245(i). Immigrants on the brink of becoming
permanent legal residents should be able to file their green card
applications from within the United States, rather than having to travel
back to their home countries and possibly face draconian consequences
that would prevent them from returning to America for years.
Without Section 245(i), people fully eligible for green cards can
be bared from returning to the United States for three or ten years.
Restoring Section 245(i) is pro-family, pro-business, fiscally
prudent, and a matter of common sense. Section 245(i) allows immigrants
with close family members here in the United States to remain with their
families while applying for legal permanent residence; allows businesses
to retain valuable employees; and provides INS with millions in annual
revenue, at no cost to taxpayers.