An Important Emphasis in the Immigration Law

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary It may seem like a not so significant change in the interpretation of the law, but it will be a step that will impact hundreds of thousands of cases. One of the major problems with our immigration law is that those children who were until age 21 dependents of their parents lost this protection when they became legal adults. Even when their parents had filed for their children to become legal permanent residents of the United States, these cases could take years. If these petitions were not approved before their children became 21, these young people could then be either kicked out of the United States by U.S. immigration, or their parents would have to file another petition. The problem with filing a new petition was that it would not get priority, and could take much longer than the petition that was filed before. This procedure has put hundreds of thousands of young people at risk, and many have already been deported because of this.

In a 6 to 5 judge ruling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that it is unfair for U.S. immigration to have ruled out any and all young people who were phased out of the petition process when these young people turned 21. Further, the court has ruled that those who were taken out of the process (i.e. deported) and who were given a lower priority for a second petition can now reapply and these applicants must be given a priority. In other words, the U.S. government had no right to deny these children of immigrants priority and no right to kick these kids out without due process. This part of the immigration process, like so many, was subject to interpretation by the U.S. government. Now that it has been ruled that these kids were denied due process, it means that those cases that were denied could be reopened and those given a low priority must now be given a high priority.

I find it refreshing that we have the judiciary to protect us when all else fails. Though the judiciary takes forever, and for too many people it is the last and most desperate line, it seems to be coming through as of late for those of us who have exhausted all other government processes. I find it totally unfair that so many of these kids have been either deported or been put in an even worse position because the U.S. immigration bureaucracy is too slow, keeps asking the same stupid questions, and is less than helpful to those immigrants who have tried to play by the rules. For those who have tried to play by the rules, I have a great deal of respect for them. But the government seems to treat them at times with utter contempt. It says volumes for why the U.S. immigration system is thoroughly broken and why it is in desperate need of fixing. This small court ruling is one positive way of trying to fix this broken system.

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