US Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today launched an online petition in support of allowing immigrant family members of U.S. citizens and residents to apply for “waivers of the three and ten year unlawful presence bars” from within the United States.
A change of this nature in the US immigration policy would allow tens of thousands and potentially hundreds of thousands of people to determine whether they qualify for a waiver before leaving the U.S.—and before risking everything, including their family, by traveling abroad.
For years, immigrants who qualify for a visa due to their family relationship with US citizens or residents have been blocked from applying for the visa from US soil because they are here unlawfully. Many of these families could qualify for a ‘waiver’ that would allow them to process their family visa, but these individuals don’t want to risk separation from their families so they did not travel abroad to finish their visa application process.
“Its unfair that people with US citizen relatives and a legitimate case to obtain a visa are being forced to travel great distances and risk everything just to prove they have a legitimate case, when they can make their case from here with the support of their family. This is why I am leading the fight and have asked President Obama to help keep families together by allowing the immigrant family members of U.S. citizens and residents to apply for “waivers of the three and ten year unlawful presence bars” from within the United States.” Said Senator Menendez. “We all need to rally behind this petition. If we make this change a reality, we will be helping all those individuals who are too frightened of being separated from their families and loosing everything important to them to make their application without having to travel abroad and risking not being able to return to the United States.”