Watson, Kowalski urge caution on waiver proposal

"The new proposal would allow the applicant to apply for the waiver before leaving the country; if granted, the applicant could return to the U.S. during the visa application process. The Obama administration says the move is a step toward significantly reducing the time that thousands of immigrant families are separated. But there’s an underlying cautionary tale from stakeholders who think the proposal should not be oversold as a major step. Jacqueline Watson, an Austin-based immigration lawyer, said that the announcement was not “a big deal” and that there are still unanswered questions. Watson already sees the possibility for unintended consequences. “Can you imagine the pain if you don’t win your waiver? Then you’re not going to leave the country to go get your visa. You’re stuck here in limbo forever, or at least until you get another waiver package together,” Watson said. During a conference call with stakeholders and news outlets Tuesday – the first in a series of opportunities for the public to comment on the proposal – officials from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services did not say what the outcome would be for an immigrant whose application was rejected. But Watson posits that some would-be applicants already fear the worst. “When you get a waiver denied, does that mean deportation proceedings are going to be commenced against that person?” she asked. Watson also points to the fact that the rule change would not expand the pool of people eligible to apply for the waiver. It only pertains to spouses and children of U.S. citizens, not permanent lawful residents, which make up a bulk of the immigrant community. Immigrants deemed inadmissible for any other reason other than unlawful entry – like those accused of crimes – would not be allowed to apply for the waiver. For others, it’s too soon to make a call on the proposal. “Everyone in the advocacy community is very hopeful, but it’s too soon to tell because we don’t even have the proposed rule, much less the final rule,” Dan Kowalski, an attorney and the editor of Bender’s Immigration Bulletin, said. But he added the proposal should have been pitched years ago." - Julian Aguilar, Texas Tribune, Jan. 11, 2012.

Comments

M.W. Faruque
  • 01-16-2012

Lot of families keep apart for waiver case. solicit a rationale procedure. we remain.