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Immigration Initiatives and Reforms Extends Waiting Time for Spouses and Children

Deportation deferrals were started in 2012 under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by the Obama administration that allowed extended time to young undocumented immigrants.

 
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Chandigarh, India -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/14/2014 -- Deportation deferrals were started in 2012 under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by the Obama administration that allowed extended time to young undocumented immigrants. This has slowed down the process of granting green cards to spouses and children or near relatives who have been living separately due to the increasing bureaucratic delays.

The delay has been caused mainly of two reasons. First, inordinate delays have occurred because the resources and staff of the Citizenship and Immigration Services have been increasingly been utilized towards the DACA program. Secondly, because of swelling data of an additional number of approximately, 350,000 additional ‘illegal’ immigrants than previous estimated.

There has been an additional clamour among immigration lawyers to extend the deferral program to include another about 11.7 million ‘illegal’ immigrants for such deportation deferrals. This would further slow down the pace and increase the waiting period for those in the queue for permanent resident visas. The readiness, willingness and capability of the agency will also have to come in for evaluation if all the above has to be catered.

An overhaul of the immigration laws have also been on the cards for long and this has been only modestly supported in the House by Republicans. Immigration legislation took backseat in the election year and among other contentious issues like the healthcare legislation that forced a shutdown for the government.

The usual waiting time for a spouse and children of an American citizen has been five months or so but with approvals pending for over 15 months and more has brought in several unwanted woes that involved children’s education and jobs of spouses.

It is estimated that there are over a five hundred thousand applications in the pipeline awaiting consideration and approval. If these figures are to be believed and processed in the next 12 months then it would mean checking and clearing 1370 applications everyday including holidays. This does not provide for a smooth pathway in dealing with the present backlog in permanent residency applications that is keeping families apart.

With the fight over the healthcare legislation just over, another challenge over the immigration bill in 2014 will need some space for another compromise over disagreements and skepticism. Though, immigrant activists and the media would like to read as much into the immigration reforms that are to follow but it would seem that the testing times for long waiting period would conveniently spill into the year 2015.

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