Much Ado About Nothing

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By Felicia Persaud

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Nov. 20, 2012: With the Presidential elections now less than ten months away, a lot was recently made about the Obama administration’s proposed changing of the process for certain waivers for the undocumented. At first glance, and looking at the initial media reports, one would be convinced that the move was one designed to really help those struggling “illegals” who may be lucky enough to find a parent, child or spouse to petition for them after many years of being in the shadows and overstaying their visas for three or more years. The truth is that the move equates to very little and simply boils down to much ado about nothing.

Here is the reality many have missed in their haste to report this as a positive for the administration or to paint it as amnesty, depending on which side of the fence their loyalty lies.

As USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas pointed out at a recent news conference, once the familial relationship between the spouse, or son or daughter has been established by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the undocumented person being petitioned for will have to leave the United States and, after applying for a “Waiver of Inadmissibility.” This includes showing medical, financial and maybe emotional hardship of separation.

This is almost a con game – a con game to get people to leave and take a gamble on the great USCIS, which admits that out of 23,000 applications received for waivers in 2011, only about 17,000 were approved.

As Mayorkas himself said: “if” and only “if” the waiver is considered based on the fact that the ground of inadmissibility is unlawful presence and the separation between that individual and a United States citizen would serve an extreme hardship on the United States citizen relative, only then would the migrant be able to have a visa issued and re-enter the U.S.
Here comes the other slammer – if a U.S. child, turns 21 and requests a waiver or tries to sponsor his or her undocumented parents, then the hardship waiver will not apply since this waiver only allows you to show extreme hardship to a qualifying relative, and the qualifying relative has to be a parent or spouse.

Ridiculous isn’t it? Yet this move is being applauded across many boards.

The fact is that with over 1 million rounded up and deported by the Obama administration since he took office, this seems like another move to rid the country coyly of the “illegals.”

The silver lining here, however, is that this is a Notice of Intent and the proposed rule will be published for public comment and will go through various types of technicalities. Hopefully, immigrant voters and advocates will make their voices heard urgently to the USCIS and President Obama on this issue so that the hard working, morally sound undocumented, who have been contributing to this country for many years, are not hood winked into self-deportation.

The writer is founder of NewsAmericasNow, CaribPR Wire and Hard Beat Communications.