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White House pushes immigration change

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The Obama Administration eases visa requirements for thousands of illegal immigrants.

| January 8, 2013

From SAF: The Obama Administration this week eased visa requirements for thousands of illegal immigrants – those who have a spouse, parent or child with U.S. citizenship. Currently, they must leave the U.S. and apply for a “forgiveness waiver” before they can apply for an immigrant visa – and if they don’t get the waiver, they are barred from returning to the U.S. for up to 10 years, which has deterred many from applying. To qualify, an applicant must be inadmissible only on account of unlawful presence in the U.S. and must demonstrate that being separated from family would mean “extreme hardship” for his or her U.S. relative.

The rule change announced this week says that those who qualify can apply for waivers from within the U.S., starting March 4. Although they must return to their native country for a brief period for the visa process, they will do so with the waiver in hand – greatly reducing the risk in applying, because they would still be in the U.S. when they heard the decision.

President Obama has pledged to push for comprehensive legislation early this year, but the timetable is greatly complicated by the need for another round of fiscal negotiations over the debt ceiling in February, and the push for a new gun control bill.

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