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[Congressional Record: April 26, 2001 (Senate)]
[Page S3995-S4011]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


      By Mr. HAGEL (for himself, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Schumer, Mrs.

[[Page S3996]]

        Clinton, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Reid, and Mr. Kerry):
  S. 778. A bill to expand the class of beneficiaries who may apply for 
adjustment of status under section 245(i) of the Immigration and 
Nationality Act by extending the deadline for classification petition 
and labor certification filings; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, it's a privilege to join Senator Hagel, 
Senator Schumer, and Senator Clinton in introducing legislation to 
extend section 245(i), a vital provision of U.S. immigration law, which 
enables persons who are eligible for green cards to adjust their status 
in the U.S., rather than have to return to their country of origin to 
do so. Last year, Congress made a major effort to bring greater 
fairness to the nation's immigration laws. The Legal Immigration Family 
Equity Act was a sensible compromise worked out on a bipartisan basis 
to deal with many of the injustices that have been so harmful and so 
unfair to so many immigrant families in recent years. Included in the 
legislation was a partial restoration of 245(i).
  Under last year's legislation, however, immigrants are required to 
file their petition by April 30th to qualify for 245(i). This fast-
approaching deadline is causing fear and confusion around the country. 
Eligible immigrants are struggling to file their petitions by April 
30th, but little time remains. Across the country, we hear that many 
qualified persons will not be able to file their petitions by this 
deadline, because not enough attorneys and legal service organizations 
are available to handle their cases.
  The legislation we are introducing will extend the deadline to April 
30, 2002, and provide needed and well-deserved relief to members of our 
immigrant communities. Spouses, children, parents and siblings of 
permanent residents and U.S. citizens will be able to adjust their 
status in the U.S., and avoid needless separation from their loved 
ones. Similarly, businesses will be able to retain valued employees. In 
addition, the INS will receive millions of dollars in additional 
revenues, at no cost to taxpayers.
  Extending the section 245(i) deadline is pro-family and pro-business, 
and it is also good economic policy and good immigration policy. It is 
consistent with the goal of legislation to reunite immigrant families.
  Representatives Peter King and Charles Rangel have introduced similar 
legislation in the House. Congress needs to act quickly to pass this 
important legislation. I hope that our Republic and Democratic 
colleagues will join us in supporting this needed extension.
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