WASHINGTON, DC – FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement today on Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s (D-NV) reintroduction of the Fairness for Immigrant Families Act:
“We’re thrilled that Senator Catherine Cortez Masto has reintroduced the Fairness for Immigrant Families Act, which will keep millions of American families together and help prevent them from being separated by the U.S.’ outdated and broken immigration system. Among other critical changes, this bill would reestablish the Section 245(i) program for those with family ties to adjust their status through existing legal processes. Crucially, this bill would also eliminate the three- and ten-year re-entry bars that prevent millions of spouses and parents of U.S. citizens from securing legal status.
“Eliminating these harmful bars will allow qualified individuals to access legal immigration channels more effectively, without risking devastating long-term family separation. Currently, three- and ten-year re-entry bars apply to individuals who have been undocumented in the U.S. and then voluntarily depart, prohibiting them from re-entering through a legal immigration channel for up to a decade and keeping them apart from family members, their communities, and the lives they have built here. Since the re-entry bar provisions were implemented more than 20 years ago, it is very clear that they have not reduced unauthorized immigration, and have done nothing to help make our immigration system more orderly or more humane. Many members of mixed-status families rightly fear that, if they leave the U.S. to try to correct their immigration status, they’ll be banned from reuniting with their loved ones for a decade or longer.
“We urge Congress to pass this vital legislation without delay. Updating these existing provisions will allow undocumented individuals with relatives living in the U.S. to access these existing legal pathways to adjust their status, and help keep families together in the country they know as home.”
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FWD.us: Immigration reform can keep millions of mixed-status families together