< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back
to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly
[Congressional Record: March 19, 2001 (Senate)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS
By Mr. HATCH:
S. 560. A bill for the relief of Rita Mirembe Revell (a.k.a. Margaret
Rita Mirembe); to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce a private relief
bill for Rita Mirembe Revell. Rita is a 15-year-old child from Uganda
who was brought to this country in 1994. When Rita was 18 months old
she was left with the Daughters of Charity Society, a Catholic
organization in Kampala, Uganda. Rita was an orphan, abandoned with no
Rita has resided in the United States under a student visa since
1994. As an orphan the only parents she has ever known are her American
guardians, who have sponsored Rita since she was three years old. They
want very much to adopt Rita, but they have been unable to get around
the mess of international red tape. The Ugandan Government has very
strict policies concerning adoption by foreign nationals. Now as Rita
approaches her 16th birthday she is in danger of being deported. Rita
has formed an intimate bond with her American parents, who hope to
complete the adoption as soon as possible. Papers for adoption have
already been filed, while there are bureaucratic difficulties, the
adoption is not contested by any party.
Understandably, the family is concerned that Rita will be deported
before her adoption is finalized. This bill simply gives Rita permanent
residency so that she might remain with the only parents she has ever
known while her adoption becomes final. Other immigration scenarios
would require Rita to return to an unsafe country for an unknown period
of time. She has no known family in Uganda. Her new life is in
California where she was recently admitted to Loretto High School, an
outstanding college preparatory high school.
This bill gives Rita permanent resident status, which will allow her
to remain in the country while the adoption process continues. It
allows Rita to stay with her American parents in the country that she
now calls home. The bill also offers the comfort of certainty for her
I hope that we can move quickly to grant this relief.
By Mr. REID (for himself, Mr. Daschle, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Dodd, Mr.
Graham, Mr. Schumer, Mr. Reed, Mr. Kerry, Mrs. Clinton, Mr.
Corzine, Mr. Durbin, and Mrs. Boxer):
S. 562. A bill to amend the immigration and Nationality Act with
respect to the record of admission for permanent residence in the case
of certain aliens; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Mr. REID, Mr. President, family reunification is the cornerstone of
our immigration policy. It is truly one of the most visible areas in
government policy in which we support and strengthen family values.
Family unification translates into strong families and strong
families build strong communities. For that reason I am introducing the
Working Families Registry Act.
This bill would allow immigrants who have been working and raising
families in the country since and before 1986 to apply for permanent
In my home State of Nevada I have met with people who everyday fear
being deported and separated from their families. They are married to
Americans, have American children and have worked and been paying taxes
for many years. They help and do not harm our industry and our economy.
A change in the date of registry would help these families. This bill
would solve the problem of immigrants who have been paying taxes, who
have feared being deported and separated from their families.
The Working Families Registry Act would update a provision of
immigration law known as ``registry.''
The registry provision originated in a 1929 law and in 1958 that law
became available to foreigners who had entered the country illegally or
who had overstayed. This criteria remains today and sets a required
date for which continuous residence must be shown in order to qualify
for permanent U.S. residency. The date of registry currently sits at
1972, and was last adjusted in 1986. My legislation would update the
date of registry from 1972 to 1986. A change in the date of registry is
First, it would address the uncertainty of taxpaying immigrants who
would qualify for residence under this bill. Many of these immigrants
live in fear of being separated from their families, having their
worker's permits stripped and their residency status revoked.
Secondly, the legislation would help strengthen the immigrant
contributions to our national economy, tax base, and social fabric. The
guaranteed benefits of residence (e.g., access to basic health care and
education) provide for a more productive and effective workforce.
Third, we recognize today, as so many legislators did in the past
that immigrants who have remained in the country for an extended period
of time are highly unlikely to leave.
Fourth, if an update of the registry is not achieved, the validity of
this concept will be meaningless when this issue emerges in the future.
Finally, Americans care about this issue.
A recent poll conducted by the National Immigration Forum found that
55 percent of Americans strongly favor legalizing a limited number of
undocumented immigrants. That is, those immigrants who have been
raising their families and paying their taxes--and who can prove they
have been in the United States for more than 5 years.
I believe it is in America's interest to pass The Working Families
Immigrants' relationships with the United States are predicated by
the recognition of America's greatness. And, keeping families together,
keeps America great.
Please join my efforts to make this bill law, as we continue to seek
ways to keep America's working families together.
Share this page
Bookmark this page
The leading immigration law publisher - over 50000 pages of free information!
© Copyright 1995- American Immigration LLC, ILW.COM