It is obvious from our immigration blog, our immigration Facebook page, and our immigration news Twitter feed that the provisional I-601 waiver proposal is a main focus of our advocacy efforts this month. Information on our push for expansion of the provisional immigration waiver process is elsewhere on our blog.
In the course of working on this issue, we have found that other advocates are taking action. Together, we can make a larger impact that hopefully pushes through this important change and expands its reach.
Jeresia Noris is the wife of an immigrant who was facing deportation until his case was administratively closed by an immigration judge. Through an exercise known as prosecutorial discretion, ICE will sometimes freeze its charges of deportation and agree to permit a judge administratively close the removal proceedings. Individuals eligible for prosecutorial discretion are usually persons of good character who have long-term ties to the United States in addition to family members who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. Full details on DHS’s prosecution priorities are outlined in the so-called Morton Memo of June 2011.
Jereisa and her husband were elated to hear that their immigration case would be administratively closed on March 22, but only a few days later they saw the proposed rule published on April 2. The proposed rule explicitly states that individuals who have pending removal proceedings will not be eligible for the provisional waiver process. This dashed the hopes that Jereisa and her husband had nurtured since the provisional waiver process was outlined in January, and Jereisa leapt into action.
Her petiton at Change.org (http://www.change.org/petitions/uscis-modify-the-new-provisional-i-601-family-unity-hardship-waiver) focuses on expanding the provisional stateside waiver process to include individuals whose cases have been administratively closed. After fighting so hard to get the removal proceedings stalled, Jereisa and her family cannot tolerate an extended period of legal limbo. Please sign her petition!
Another activist born of this process is Martha Torres, a single mother who is herself in removal proceedings. Her case is complicated, but ultimately she is making an appeal for more just immigration laws. She and her daughter are facing separation from one another because under current laws there is very little space for the undocumented mother of a minor U.S. citizen to win the right to stay in this country.
In her petition (http://www.change.org/es/peticiones/united-states-president-please-promptly-implement-new-provisional-waivers-for-adjustment-of-status), she is asking high-ranking government officials to approve the provisional waiver process and to take a hard look at our immigration laws. She is confident — and we agree — that such an analysis reveals our laws to be endlessly complicated even as they are rigid and mostly merciless. By signing her petition, you can join her in telling our elected officials that we need more immigration solutions.