Washington D.C., February 26, 2008
- As the 111th Congress gets underway, a flurry of activity has
been taking place regarding proposed immigration policy. Much of this activity
has been centered on amending the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which
was passed into law in 1952 and has since constituted the cornerstone of
American immigration policy.
Since its conception, the Immigration and Nationality Act has been amended numerous times in response to the ever changing immigration debate within this country. Most recently, two pieces of legislation, as more fully described below, have been introduced in the House of Representatives (I) to provide discretion to immigration judges as to whether the parents of a U.S. citizen who is out of status and therefore in the country illegally should be deported, and (II) helping to facilitate the issuance of U.S. visas for purposes of receiving medical treatment. If passed, H.R. 182 and H.R. 1033 may be of benefit to certain immigrant families within the United States, including Iranian Americans. PAAIA has, and will continue to monitor both bills for further developments and is supporting their passage.
House Bill 182 (H.R. 182) is sponsored by Congressman Jose Serrano (NY-16th) and seeks to "provide discretionary authority to an immigration judge to determine that an alien parent of a United States citizen child should not be ordered removed, deported, or excluded from the United States if the judge determines that such removal, deportation, or exclusion is clearly against the best interest of the child." Currently, authorities only have the ability to prevent the deportation of an alien who is a parent of U.S. citizen under "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" such as a serious illness or death of the child but not including less compelling circumstances. H.R. 182 seeks to place important discretion back into the hands of immigration judges who have more time to fully review such circumstances on a case-by-case basis, ensuring that the best interest of the child is protected.
Click here for more information on H.R. 182.
House Bill 1033 (H.R. 1033) was introduced by Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-9th), and is intended to allow "temporary admission of nonimmigrant aliens to the United States for the purpose of receiving medical treatment." Under current immigration policy, a specific classification does not exist for such individuals who may seek temporary admittance to the United States. H.R. 1033 will require that individuals seeking temporary admittance to the United States for medical treatment must have no intention of abandoning their home nation and that if their medical condition was left untreated would "undermine the alien's survival or day-to-day functioning". Furthermore, the bill establishes an initial admittance period of six months, which could then be increased by increments of one year by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Such a bill would not only help to save the lives of those seeking medical care in the United States, but would also give comfort to those legal immigrants living in the United States who may have elderly and sick family members in their nation of origin.
Click here for more information on H.R. 1033.
To learn more about other pieces of legislation that may be of interest to the Iranian American community, please follow the link to our Online Action Center.
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