Monday, January 9, 2012

Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform Coalition Applauds the Proposed Administrative fix to our Nations Immigration Procedures, But Cautions Americans that this is Not a Substitute for Immigration Reform

The Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform coalition stands for family values and family unity. CfCIR believes that the recently announced Obama administration's proposal to amend the waiver process for certain immigrant family members will solve one of our outdated immigration issues, and will go a long way toward solving a small but serious part of our Nation's immigration problems.

However, we must note that the granting of the waiver in question, the I-601 waiver, is by no means automatic. In fact, it is a high and difficult bar to climb for the applicant. The difficulty of having such a waiver approved by USCIS is one of the reasons why this move by the administration is so important, as it allows for the immigrant to remain with his family here in their adopted home country, while they await the outcome of their waiver’s approval. The applicant must demonstrate that their qualifying relative would endure an “extreme hardship” should the applicant be deported.

The term “extreme hardship” has a special meaning as used in the U.S. immigration laws. A showing of extreme hardship requires more than demonstrating the ordinary, typical hardship that a family member would experience if their relative cannot immigrate. Financial hardship alone is not enough. The hardship, which must be experienced by the U.S. citizen/permanent resident relative (not the non-citizen applicant), must go beyond that normally expected in cases of family separation. Successful applicants will usually have demonstrated unique and/or unusual hardships to the U.S. citizen/permanent resident relative, such as: serious health conditions (physical and/or mental); lack of the U.S. citizen/permanent resident’s family ties to the applicant’s country of origin; ability to speak the applicant’s native language; financial considerations; loss of opportunity in applicant’s country of origin, etc.

Dr. Mathew D. Staver, Dean and Professor of Law at Liberty University School of Law, and Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform Member, put this proposed rule change into perspective: “The modification in the waiver rule is a common sense one that will remove bureaucratic barriers to legal immigration, provide certainty to those required to leave the country to obtain a visa before returning, and will strengthen family unity. The immigration system is broken and must be fixed. Politics should be put aside and the welfare of people and the values upon which America is founded ought to become our first priority.”

Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the nation's largest Christian Hispanic organization and CfCIR member, stated, "We applaud and commend the administration for taking the appropriate steps in protecting immigrant families. The decision makes economic and practical sense. Family unification stands as a firewall against many social ills. As a community committed to faith and family, this decision serves as an extension of our Judeo Christian values."

"While this is not comprehensive reform, or even the DREAM Act, it is still an important step forward in the right direction and will help to keep many families united," said, Dr. Juan Hernandez, Co-Founder of CfCIR. "Perhaps this proposal will spur some of the additional reforms that our immigration system needs so desperately."

Robert Gittelson, Co-Founder of CfCIR, stated, "This 'tweak' to our immigration system will help thousands of immigrant families to remain united during their legalization process, and we applaud this common sense approach. Our laws are antiquated, and in serious need of a comprehensive updating. CIR is fundamentally a series of such tweaks that will improve border security, workplace security, and alleviate many of the causes of illegal immigration. However, ultimately we need Congress to get together in a bi-partisan method to bring our immigration system into the 21st century."

"CfCIR is motivated and committed to helping to solve the nation's immigration problems," Gittelson concluded. "This narrow regulatory adjustment will preserve family unity, and streamline a clogged immigration process. Therefore, we applaud this action, but urge our leaders to please put politics aside, and come together to address a long-needed, complete, and meaningful reform of America's immigration policies."


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