April 23, 2009
There are so many big things wrong with US immigration policy that it can be easy to overlook smaller injustices. But it is just wrong to deport the stepchild of a US citizen because they kept having birthdays during the often years-long wait for their legal immigration visa.
No one intended for the law to be so mindless. Most Americans are surprised that our immigration laws so directly contradict our values, as well as common sense. There is no national interest in aging stepchildren out of their legal immigration status. The numbers of such cases are small compared to other immigration categories, but for each blended family who falls into this gap between our values and our immigration laws, the consequences can literally be the destruction of the family, ironically because they obeyed the law.
Aging out of other family immigration categories were resolved by the Child Status Protection Act which President Bush signed into law in 2002. That the stepchildren of US citizens were not incorporated into the new law has been universally acknowledged to have been an oversight.
So we the undersigned urge the US Congress to enact reform of the K-2 visa for the stepchildren of US citizens when the Reuniting Families Act is reintroduced.
American Families United
Ellen Somekawa, Executive Director, Asian Americans United
Asian Law Caucus
Bonilla Community Services
Jim Babka, President, DownsizeDC.org
Alan Reuther, Legislative Director, International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW)
Justice Through Music
The Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund
The Multiracial Activist
National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum
National Council of La Raza
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
Dane von Breichenruchardt, President, U.S. Bill of Rights Foundation
John & Carol Whitehead, Rutherford Institute