Yesterday, LIRS President and CEO, Linda Hartke, was part of a group of experts convened by the National Immigration Forum that briefed members of the press on the new proposed regulations that will change how U.S. citizens’ spouses and children who are eligible for a green card can file their applications for family unity, allowing them to do so from within the U.S.
Below are Linda’s remarks. You can listen to the full audio of the press call here. full audio of the press call here
Last week’s announcement represents real progress toward protecting American families.
It will encourage immigrants to come out of the shadows, get right with the law, receive their family-based green card, and permanently reunite with their US citizen family members.
Our faith values have long held that the family unit is sacred and should remain intact. We are relieved that the Administration has taken a good step in eliminating some needless bureaucratic red tape to allow children and spouses to remain in the United States with their U.S. citizen family members while they await the processing of their immigration paperwork.
But there is still much more that the Administration can do. The proposed new rule should be improved to help MORE families.
The Administration should also allow children and spouses with a parent or spouse with a green card to stay with their families in the United States while their paperwork is processed and to have their interviews in the US — instead of forcing them apart for months, even years.
In addition, the Administration should also aggressively work with Congress to expand the law to consider extreme hardship cases of US citizen children whose parents are undocumented.
Family is sacred, and any forcible separation causes incredible suffering.
Last week’s announcement is a welcome first step in protecting the family unit and while there is still more the Administration can and should do, nothing short of comprehensive immigration reform will ensure that families are no longer separated by a broken system.
Click here for our press release on the announcement.