Administration Slams Door on Thousands of Legal Immigrants: AILA Condemns Agencies’ Bait and Switch


WASHINGTON, D.C.–The American Immigration Lawyers Association
strongly condemns the bait and switch perpetrated by the federal
government on thousands of intending immigrants who have waited in line
for years and were following the rules for obtaining a “green card.”

On June 13, 2007, the U.S. State Department announced that, as of
July 2, individuals seeking permanent residence (“green cards”) through
employer sponsorship finally would be allowed to proceed with their
applications. Applicants would have a short window, possibly only
through July or perhaps August, to complete their paperwork.

Those intending immigrants, immediately and at great expense, rushed
to gather final documents, complete their paperwork and obtain required
medical exams. Many sent their applications off on Friday, June 29 for
arrival on July 2 at the Department of Homeland Security, for the last
phase of the multi-step process that leads to a green card.

However, on the very day the door was to open, DOS and DHS slammed it shut.

On July 2, DHS and DOS announced-based on no different information
than they had on June 13 when they announced the opening of this filing
door-that all applications would be turned away.

“People ask why those who come to the United States illegally can’t
just follow the rules,” said Kathleen Campbell Walker, President of the
American Immigration Lawyers Association. “But here people followed the
rules and did everything right, yet without warning or explanation the
door was slammed in their faces. This hoax perpetrated by these two
government agencies is unconscionable, and is an example of how badly
our immigration system is broken.”

AILA calls on the Administration to do the right thing and keep its
promise to the people affected by this sudden reversal. AILA also calls
on Congress to get it right this time and fix our badly broken system.

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