The waiver will allow the undocumented immigrant to have certainty that they will be allowed to return to the U.S. in a short period of time.
Under the law, an undocumented immigrant who is married to an American citizen or is a child of American citizens, is eligible to become a permanent resident but a hurdle in the law required that they must first return to their country of origin to pick up their green card and wait until their waiver to return to the U.S was approved.
"For thousands of American families returning to their country of origin meant tearing the family apart for an undetermined amount of time because once they left the U.S., they were barred from returning for at least three years with little certainty that a waiver would be granted at all," said LULAC National President Margaret Moran. "We thank the Obama Administration for a remedy that we have long advocated for that will have a positive impact for undocumented immigrants that are completely eligible to have legal status."
The agency proposes to grant a provisional waiver in the U.S. before the undocumented person leaves the U.S. to pick up their green cards and thus avoid a prolonged and unnecessary separation from their loved ones. The regulatory process calls for a comment period before the agency can publish the rule.
"While this is no substitute for comprehensive immigration reform, it's a step in the right direction and we encourage the Obama Administration to grant relief to other undocumented immigrants who are also eligible for legal status," said LULAC Executive Director, Brent Wilkes. "We have long sought relief for immigrants who have legal avenues to become legal residents of the U.S. and while we applaud the Administration we also hope for immigrants that are not married to an American citizen, or are not children of American citizens to be granted eligibility in the near term as well."
The League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest and oldest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating through 900 LULAC councils nationwide. For more information, visit www.lulac.org.