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Dear Editor:

It is known to all that the LIFE Act (the Legal Immigration Family Equity), signed by former President Clinton on December 21, 2000, created a new visa category, the V visa, allowing spouses and children of the lawful permanent residents in the F2A category to come to the U.S. to join their family. Furthermore, this Act also reinstated Section 245(i) of the INA with a limited period until April 30, 2001, which allowed about 800,000 aliens staying in the United States illegally to adjust their illegal status to permanent residency. It is very praiseworthy that in view of the nuclear family policy of the United States, the new V visa has been created for the children to join their parents. But, the children, who were already approved under F2A category and later transferred to the F2B category because of their turning 21 years of age while waiting for immigrant visa number, have been debarred from being eligible for the V visa. With this, it is certain that justice is not done to the children of F2B category who have been separated from their parents for more than 8 years, because they were totally ignored when the new V visa was created. In a democratic country, equity should be at the heart of our immigration policy, and whatever benefits and relief are offered should be given to all immigrants. To separate the children from their parents for such a long period, doesn't seem to be fair and just for a democratic country like the United States, where equality and freedom are expected by all on an equal footing. Honorable Senators Daschle(D-SD), Kennedy(D-MA) and Dodd(D-CT) are said to have introduced jointly in the Senate a bill S.2493 titled "the Uniting Families Act of 2002", which would allow families to stay together in the United States. In view of the hardships being faced by the above children of F2B category and their parents, it is high time that the US legislators amended the LIFE Act or inserted in the recently introduced bill S.2493 a provision, that will allow the children of F2B category also to be eligible for the V visa.

Sushil Babu


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