Please go to PopVox and register your support for HR 932, Support and Defend Our Military Families Act. This bill would let certain military family members adjust status without the necessity for filing for waivers and parole in place. The bill would also extend the time for military veterans to file for naturalization and would provide extra due process protections for military members and veterans facing deportation.
More below the orange squiggly. . . .
I don't want you to, with apologies to Justice Scalia, vote to support this bill just because it has a great name. I do, however, strongly hope that you will take the 10 seconds or so to support it. So here's some background.
We have all seen news shows where a close family member of a service member is either threatened with deportation or has been deported. We have seen former service members themselves are either threatened with deportation or are actually deported.
Under current law, the fact of relationship to an active duty or honorably discharged service member does not mean a whole lot. Under current law, the fact of having served does not mean a whole lot. Instead, how these cases are handled are simply at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security - and at the discretion often of the lowest ranking official (usually one who has avoided having served). For a family member, it is often a several step process. Luckily, to date, the American Immigration Lawyers Association has institutionalized a pro bono Military Assistance Program.
The AILA Military Assistance Program (MAP) is a collaborative effort between the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Legal Assistance Offices (LAO) of the United States military Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps. The LAOs provide free assistance to active duty service-members and their families in order to maintain the highest level of readiness possible in the event that a military member is deployed. Recently, however, JAG attorneys have been inundated with complex immigration legal questions. To resolve these cases successfully, they often need the assistance of seasoned immigration attorneys. AILA MAP has brought these two groups together to form a truly dynamic and effective partnership.AILA MAP
Since the inception of this worthy program in 2008, our priority has been to provide invaluable resources, knowledgeable pro bono legal counsel, and peace of mind to these courageous men and women of the United States Armed Forces while honoring the selfless commitment which they have made to the continued protection of our nation and the freedoms we enjoy on a daily basis.
HR 932 seeks to take the handling of immigration cases for family members out of the realm of discretion and instead make it statutory that the family member of a service member is entitled to immigration benefits available to all other family members of US citizens and lawful residents. It automatically excuses prior immigration violations for close family members of service members. This will "honor the selfless commitment which service members have already made to our protection" without the need to scramble for help.
It also extends the period of time that a former service member has to obtain expedited citizenship if the member did not already obtain it while serving.
Finally, it will require that any decision to remove an ex-service member must be made a a high level. To illustrate the importance of this requirement, know that if an ex-service member admits to smoking marijuana to treat his PTSD, that service member is theoretically removable. Making sure that a lowly agent who avoided serving does not get to make the decision would be, IMHO a good thing.
Again, please show your support by clicking the link above and voting to support this bill.