[Congressional Record: September 3, 2002 (Senate)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[ ... ]
By Mr. THURMOND:
S. 2898. A bill for the relief by Jaya Gulab Tolani and Hitesh Gulab
Tolani; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Mr. THURMOND. Madam President, I rise to introduce a private relief
bill that would provide permanent legal resident status for Hitesh
Tolani and his mother, Jaya Tolani, who face voluntary removal from
I feel that the Tolanis' case presents a compelling need for
legislative action. Hitesh Tolani, who is a scholarship student at
Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC, came to the United States with his
mother, Jaya, and father, Gulab, in 1984. When Hitesh arrived in this
country, he was a toddler. Hitesh has a younger brother, Ravi, who was
born here and is a United States citizen.
The Tolanis' efforts to become United States citizens was beset by
tragedy. Gulab's brother, who served as a sponsor, died during the
family's efforts to become legal permanent residents. Furthermore, just
days before Gulab was to interview in New York in hopes of gaining
legal permanent resident status for himself and his family, he passed
away. Jaya was left with no way to legalize her or Hitesh's status. In
the same year in which Gulab died, Jaya was also diagnosed with breast
cancer. In the midst of these difficulties, Jaya was left with very few
When Hitesh learned of his illegal status, he made the decision to
turn himself into the authorities. After removal proceedings commenced,
Hitesh and Jaya sought relief in the form of cancellation of removal.
In order to succeed in this effort, it must be shown that the removal
would result in ``exceptional and extremely unusual hardship.'' In this
case, the Immigration court found that the Tolanis' case did not rise
to this level of hardship. The court came to this conclusion despite
the fact that Hitesh has lived the vast majority of his life in the
United States and is in the middle of his college studies. If forced to
leave the country, Hitesh's studies will be significantly interrupted,
and he will be required to return to a land that he does not remember.
Additionally, Hitesh will be placed at a social and educational
disadvantage because he is not fluent in the Hindi language.
During this important time in Hitesh's life, he will leave the only
home that he has ever known. Yet the events surrounding his entry into
the United States were completely out of his control. Hitesh has done
nothing but contribute in positive ways to his hometown community of
Irmo, SC, and the Wofford College community. He has demonstrated
excellent moral character and has always been a model student.
Relocation to India would also create extreme hardship for Jaya, who
is in remission from breast cancer. She would have to abandon her
clothing store business in South Carolina and return to a land that she
has not seen for twenty years. She also faces the potential breakup of
her family due to the status of her youngest son, Ravi, who is a U.S.
citizen. Ravi would be forced to go to India with the rest of his
family or face the prospect of foster care. Ravi is not fluent in
Hindi, but is very proficient in English. Ravi is also an asthmatic who
must periodically use an inhaler machine. He would be subject to
unhealthy air quality in Bombay, the city where the Tolanis' closest
relatives reside and the place where they would settle.
The Tolani family appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals, and
the Immigration Judge's decision was affirmed without comment. The
family is now appealing to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, but
the standard of review is deferential, making this an uphill climb for
Hitesh and Jaya.
I have always been a strong proponent of enforcing our Nation's
immigration laws. However, the Tolanis' case represents one of those
rare instances where removal would be unjust. The Tolani family, if
forced to leave this country, will face exceptional hardship. Hitesh is
a fine young man and an outstanding student. Through no fault of his
own, he faces the prospect of leaving the only home that he has ever
known. I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in
There being no objection, the bill was ordered to be printed in the
Record, as follows:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of
the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. PERMANENT RESIDENCE.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for purposes of
the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.),
Jaya Gulab Tolani and Hitesh Gulab Tolani shall be held and
considered to have been lawfully admitted to the United
States for permanent residence as of the date of enactment of
this Act upon payment of the required visa fees.
SEC. 2. REDUCTION OF NUMBER OF AVAILABLE VISAS.
Upon the granting of permanent residence to Jaya Gulab
Tolani and Hitesh Gulab Tolani, as provided in section 1, the
Secretary of State shall instruct the proper officer to
reduce by the appropriate number during the current fiscal
year the total number of immigrant visas available to natives
of the country of the aliens' birth under section 203(a) of
the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1153(a)).
Share this page
Bookmark this page
The leading immigration law publisher - over 50000 pages of free information!
© Copyright 1995- American Immigration LLC, ILW.COM