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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily

Bloggings on Immigration Law and Policy

by Greg Siskind

Poll: Americans Back Agricultural Worker Immigration Reforms

Most Americans get it that even after three years of high unemployment in the US, farms still can't find nearly enough American workers and we remain as dependent on foreign workers as when unemployment was at its lowest. 70% of us back immigration reform for agricultural workers.

Immigration Law Raises Ethical Quandaries for Attorneys

Just actually saw this article in the American Bar Association Journal quoting me on a story on professional responsibilty concerns for immigration lawyers.

DHS Released Proposed Rule for Stateside Waiver Processing

No, it's not an amnesty. DHS is now allowing people who are eligible for immigrant visas but subject to an overstay bar requiring a waiver to wait in the US while their waiver is processed rather than having to wait the six to twelve months abroad. The American Immigration Lawyers Association had this to say -

AILA Commends DHS Decision to Amend Immigration Waiver Process

New Rule Change will Help Reduce the Time Spouses and Children Are Separated From U.S. Citizen Relatives While They Complete the Process for Legal Status in the United States

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) commends the Department of Homeland Security's proposed rule that would change its processes to enable spouses and children of U.S. citizens physically present in the United States to apply within the U.S. for the waiver they need to become U.S. permanent residents. The current procedure requires the spouse or child to leave the United States, file the waiver application in the home country, and wait for processing while separated from their U.S. citizen loved ones.

If adopted, the rule would permit immediate family of U.S. citizens to apply for a provisional waiver of unlawful presence while remaining in the U.S., thereby minimizing the time they would be separated from their families during the process. To obtain the waiver, applicants must still meet the strict letter of the law which requires them to prove that family separation will cause their American citizen spouse or parent extreme hardship. 

If the waiver is granted, the foreign national must leave the U.S. and apply for and receive an immigrant visa abroad before returning to the U.S. The change will give countless American families a chance to stay together safely and legally. 

“Today’s proposed rule change, permitting the waiver request to be decided stateside, is a positive step for keeping families together. It would result in a significant change in process for many individuals and, if implemented, will literally save lives. People have been kidnapped and murdered waiting for waivers in Juarez, Mexico, and other countries,” said Eleanor Pelta, President of AILA. “It's a move that will be less destructive to families and bring about a fairer and more streamlined waiver process.  

“Unfortunately USCIS’s plan would exclude many people who are stuck in the same situation. That doesn’t make any sense,” Pelta continued. “The proposed rule only applies to a limited group of applicants, namely the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who can show extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent. This leaves out broad categories of close family members who also have to wait abroad for their waiver, including the spouses and children of people who have green cards and the adult children of U.S. citizens.” In February, AILA, joined by over 40 other organizations, offered several recommendations to improve the provisional waiver plan. AILA will also submit formal comments during the 60-day comment period.   


About The Author

Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.