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  • 02/04/2013 4:31 PM | American Families United (Administrator)
    The comprehensive immigration reform framework announced by the gang of eight Senators speaks to family visa reforms.  It also promises a path to citizenship for 11 million people who are presently in the United States, but inadmissible.

    We urge that visa applicants waiting outside the country, particularly the tens of thousands of spouses of US citizens, wait no longer in line but receive waivers on their inadmissibilities. Those who apply legally are supposed to be at the front of the line, and should not be disadvantaged for following procedures and applying from outside the United States.

    We urge the Senate, when it comes to US citizens and our spouses, to pass nothing about us without us.
  • 01/29/2013 11:30 PM | American Families United (Administrator)
    President Obama today outlined a bold plan of action to repair the broken family immigration system, saying “if you are a citizen, you shouldn’t have to wait years before your family is able to join you in America.”

    After his speech, Dana Forrester, American Families United Vice President, was moved to tears and approached President Obama.  “Please Mr. President, please read this” she asked, hand outstretched with a request to give every US citizen the opportunity to have our day in immigration court, when the law denies our spouses entry through the legal path of immigration.

    Brushing aside his security detail, the President took Dana’s hand, looked her in the eye, and said, “I will read it”.

    When President Obama touched Dana’s hand, he touched the hearts of the thousands, maybe millions of US citizens whose family members are caught up in the immigration laws failures.  Our mothers, fathers, children, grandchildren -- all of us  yearn only to live with those we love in the country of our birth.

    Thank you, Mr. President.  Our hearts are with you.  Please keep us in yours.
  • 01/02/2013 3:13 PM | American Families United (Administrator)
    In a positive step forward for American citizens, Secretary Nepolitano announced a new I-601 waiver process today.  The rule will help some Americans who have spouses in the US when they sponsor their spouse, and is expected to take effect March 4, 2013.

    Details can be found in the federal register:
  • 11/15/2012 6:55 AM | American Families United (Administrator)
    In President Obama's first press conference since being re-elected, he said that he expects a comprehensive immigration reform bill to be introduced, "very soon after my inauguration".  Watch to his remarks here.
  • 06/21/2012 11:25 PM | American Families United (Administrator)
    Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney promised a pro-family immigration reform agenda in remarks to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) today, speaking broadly to American Families United's agenda, and specifically to green cards for spouses of permanent residents:

    "Our immigration system should help promote strong families, not keep them apart.  Our nation benefits when moms and dads and their kids are all living together under the same roof.  But, today, too many families are caught in a broken system that costs them time and money and entangles them in red tape.  For those seeking to come to America the right way, that kind of bureaucratic nightmare has to end.  And we can do this with just a few common-sense reforms.

    As President, I will reallocate Green Cards to those seeking to keep their families under one roof.  We will exempt from caps the spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents.  And we will eliminate other forms of bureaucratic red tape that keep families from being together."

  • 04/24/2012 11:11 PM | American Families United (Administrator)
    American Families United has submitted a public letter in support of the proposed waiver rule change.

    We urge you to read the letter and submit similar comments at regulations.gov before the comment deadline date of June 1st, 2012:


    We also ask that you sign the petition in support of the proposed waiver rule change and ask others to do the same:


  • 01/06/2012 12:00 PM | American Families United (Administrator)
    American Families United welcomes USCIS's announcement of the intent to change I-601 waiver processing for some cases. The proposed change, if finalized, would be a positive step in recognizing the importance of family and the interest of American citizens in the legal immigration process.

    Since American Families United has led this fight for many years now, we are encouraged by this progress.

    The proposed change would affect US citizens who are sponsoring their spouses or children from inside the US, and would allow the family to remain together while an I-601 waiver application is being processed.  However, the proposed change would apply only to the bars described under section 212(a)9(B)(i)(I) and 212(a)9(B)(i)(II) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and would not alleviate the difficulty in successfully applying for an I-601 waiver.

    We need this change and more.

    We urge President Obama to issue a final regulation change to implement the proposed I-601 changes without delay, and we urge Congress to make the necessary changes to legal immigration to recognize the rights and interests of Americans.
  • 06/22/2011 8:00 PM | American Families United (Administrator)
    American Families United hails the Board of Immigration Appeals decision in the case of Hieu Trung LE.

    Acknowledging AFU's longstanding position -- that it is just wrong to to deport the stepchild of a US citizen because they keep having birthdays during the often years-long wait for their legal immigration visa -- the BIA ruled yesterday in a binding precedent that K-2 visa holders could not age out at 21 and be deported.

    Aging out of other family immigration categories were resolved by the Child Status Protection Act which President Bush signed into law in 2002. The stepchildren of US citizens were not explicitly incorporated into the new law, in what been universally acknowledged to have been an oversight, giving rise to the misinterpretation corrected in this BIA decision.

    The decision comes after years of advocacy from organizations across the political spectrum, multiple law suits by members of American Families United, and several proposed bills in Congress to address the issue.

    Says AFU board member Yumei Li-Bachar, "This decision is long overdue.  For years my husband, who is a veteran, and I have struggled with legal fees and international tuition bills -- all because we followed the law.  This is our dream act.  We hope USCIS will act quickly in granting green cards to my daughter the all the other kids who have been denied justice for so long."

    Parties with K2 age out cases should review the decision with an immigration attorney.

    More information:
  • 06/22/2011 6:00 PM | American Families United (Administrator)
    Senators Menendez, Reid, Schumer, Leahy, Gillibrand, and Durbin have introduced S. 1258, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011.  American Families United applauds the inclusion of the following pro-family sections of the bill:

    Section 161, Promoting Family Unity - this section includes improvements that would help in waiver reform processing in targeted cases.  American Families United continues to press U.S. Senators for support of the principal of legal immigrant waiver equity.  We believe that legalization programs should never disadvantage spouses of US citizens who are already in line in the legal immigration system vis-a-vis intending immigrants who are physically present in the country and have otherwise identical immigration cases.

    Section 302, Reclassification of Spouses and Minor Children of Lawful Permanent Residents as Immediate Relatives - this section would eliminate quotas that needlessly separate husbands and wives, parents and young children, purely for adhering to the law.

    Section 303, Retention of Priority Date - this section would ensure that a person's place in line would be maintained should they be move from one family category to another.  This is the first time such legislation has been introduced in the US Senate, and American Families United thanks Senator Menendez in particular for including this legislative fix and for once again leading on an issue that separates families.

    Sections 304 and 308, Equal Treatment for All Step Children and Fiance Child Status Protection - these sections would provide a retroactive fix to the K2 visa age-out problem, and an equalization of the dates for which sponsoring US citizen spouses and fiances can sponsor step children.  A legal victory on the K2 visa age out problem solved the K2 visa age-out problem going forward.

    Section 307, Widows, Widowers, and Orphans - this section improves on existing law, and would provide additional protections for widows, widowers, and orphans to visit and live with extended US citizen family members in the event of the untimely death of a sponsoring US citizen spouse or parent.

    Full text of the bill can be found at: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.1258:
  • 05/06/2011 5:48 AM | American Families United (Administrator)
    We applaud Congressman Mike Honda for reintroducing a new and improved Reuniting Families Act, HR 1796, in the 112th Congress.

    The Reuniting Families Act contains solutions to many long-standing issues that separate Americans from their spouses and children, including:
    • better waiver reform provisions which would improve I-601 and I-212 processing
    • an improved fix to the K2 visa issue
    • an end to numerical quotas on the F2A category for spouses and children of permanent residents
    • a new section to retain priority dates for family members when they marry or otherwise move from one category to another

    American Families United thanks the many co-sponsors of this bill and calls on all Members of Congress and organizations who value marriage and family to support this bill.

    We are mobilizing a grassroots campaign to ask local organizations to endorse HR 1796, and then meet members of Congress personally to ask them to co-sponsor the bill.  Updates will be posted on Twitter.  Please join us to get involved.
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Randall Emery, President


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