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PLAN: Family Unity Waiver must be implemented fairly, quickly
by Tribune Staff
Jun 03, 2012 | 1624 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RENO — The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada on Thursday urged for the rapid implementation of a proposed rule change that would allow spouses and children of U.S. citizens to stay together in the United States while they wait for decisions on their waivers toward a path to citizenship.

Under current law, undocumented immigrants have to leave the United States and apply for a waiver to lessen the three-year and 10-year bar they face before they can re-enter the country. Often, the process to obtain a waiver can take months or even years, meaning families have to endure prolonged separations and are exposed to significant hardship. 

“We commend the Obama administration for seeing the value of keeping families together and hope that the Family Unity Waiver is implemented as soon as possible to keep families from being separated,” said Mario DelaRosa, community organizer for PLAN. “This is an important change that will allow some families to stay together while their paperwork is being processed.”

Daysi Araujo, a mother from Reno who is directly affected by the implementation of the proposed rule, said “So far, I’ve been waiting seven years for my papers to come through, and there’s still no word when that will happen. When I finally get approved, I’ll have to get my papers processed in Mexico. I don’t know how long I’d have to leave my family. I don’t even know if I’ll leave. How can I leave my son, my family, and everything we’re building together? It’s a terrible choice to have to make.”

The Alliance for a Just Society, a PLAN partner, has released a report on the Family Unity Waiver that features Araujo’s personal story and what rapid implementation of the waiver means for her family.

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