January 2011

Happy New Year!

From the NeJame Law Firm, we wish you a healthy, prosperous and a happy new year!


Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Dear Reader, in January, as we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, let us all remember MLK's dream; his dream of equality, tolerance and acceptance. We hope that Congress will work on a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill that adheres to these values while balancing it with the security and enforcement interests of our country.


The DREAM Act . . . remains a Dream

After being passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate rejected the DREAM Act legislation.

The DREAM ACT, which refers to "The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act," is a bill that was drafted many years ago. The bill purports to legalize the status of young, undocumented immigrants if they attend college for two years or join the military. The immigrant must have arrived in the U.S. while under the age of 16 and have resided in the U.S. for at least 5 years before the enactment of the law. Also, the person must not have been convicted of any serious crime.

The bill may be reintroduced to Congress for another vote this year.

In This Issue

Newsletter Issues

New Investor Visa - E-2 CNMI Investor Visa

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has posted a final rule in the Federal Register that creates a nonimmigrant investor visa classification in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The "E-2 CNMI Investor Visa" permits long term investors to reside in the CNMI through December 2014. USCIS will begin receiving petitions for the E-2 CNMI Investor classification on Jan. 18, 2011.


Immigrant Visas for Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents Retrogress

In our August 2010 newsletter, we announced that in the second preference category (spouses and children under 21 years of age), the Department of State is issuing visas for petitions filed in January 2010. This was a marked improvement over the previous backlog of up to 5 years.

However, in January 2011, the Department of State is processing petitions for spouses and children of permanent residents that were filed back in January 2008. This means that the visa bulletin has "retrogressed."

Other categories also retrogressed. The 1st preference category (unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens) increased from a 5-year wait to a 6-year wait. In the 2B category for adult sons and daughters of permanent residents, the wait increased to 8 years.

This retrogression highlights a simple reality of the priority date system: It is quite fluid and as a result, sometimes deceiving. A person waiting in the queue for his or her petition may appear to have a visa nearly available, only to learn that there were more petitions previously filed than it seemed. Congress should address this issue while keeping in mind our nation's interest in family unity.


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