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Immigration Law

Visa Delays Separate Family

"Getting into the country was not a problem for Davis and Jessica.  As U.S. citizens, they can come and go as they please.  They arrived Aug. 5, Davis said.  But they had to leave Aminata, 22, behind.  Davis said the couple tried to get Aminata a temporary visa, but were denied twice because she couldn't prove that she would return to Mali, records show.  Davis said he understands that, but the regular immigration process will take at least six months and possibly as long as a year.  In the life of a sick child, that is too long for a mother to be away, Davis said. ... An increasingly global population and the lure of America's gifts are creating family dramas that are difficult for the immigration system to handle.  Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration law professor at Cornell University, said it usually takes more than a year for an overseas spouse to immigrate to the U.S.  Immigration officials do background and income checks to make sure the non-citizen spouse who wants to enter the country won't be a risk or a financial burden.  "It's very hard to expedite that process," Yale-Loehr said. "Partly why we have illegal immigration is because it's so hard to immigrate legally."" - Marnie Eisenstadt, Oct. 27, 2013.