A change in current immigration law may offer San Diego residents and their families a better chance at obtaining green cards. The current regulations require that those immigrants seeking green cards who apply for a hardship waiver are first required to return to their own country for a consulate interview. Many times, this results in an individual being denied reentry to the U.S. The new change permits applicants for green cards to apply for the hardship waiver in the United States, which can then permit them to stay for an indefinite period of time while awaiting citizenship.
A recent news article highlights some of the current difficulties of the immigration process surrounding these issues, but obtaining green cards for immigrant families may become easier than it has been over the past 15 years. Prior to 1996, the process was easier, especially if members of the immigrant’s family were either U.S. citizens or legal residents. But then changes were made that required immigrants and their spouses to interview with a U.S. Consulate in their home country. This procedure placed the immigrant at risk of being banned from returning, causing many to avoid the legal process altogether.
Under a law passed during the Clinton administration, during the interview with the consulate in their home land, immigrants find out whether they are approved or if they have been banned. If fortunate, a ban may only be three years. Some people have been banned for life, especially if they have illegally crossed back into the United States after deportation.
A change in the law promises to make obtaining green cards easier. Once the law passes, immigrants could seek a hardship waiver before leaving the United States. The change may help immigrants living in the San Diego area to obtain citizenship in this country while avoiding lengthy separation from their families.
Source: Associated Press, “Illegal immigrant loves wife from across border,” Cristina Silva, March 6, 2012