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  Public Employee Press

PEP Feb 2001
Table of Contents
  La Voz

Public Employee Press

Union ready to help immigrants use new LIFE law; deadline is April 30

DC 37’s Citizenship Committee is urging immigrant members to see if they qualify to become legal residents with “green card” status under the new Legal Immigration and Family Equity (LIFE) Act.

“The LIFE law does not go as far as the legislation the union was pressing for, but it can help many of our members and their families,” said Committee Chair Jacob Azeke, the president of Quasi-Public Employees Local 374.

The law covers hundreds of thousands of immigrants and relatives of citizens who would otherwise have to leave the United States while their applications to become permanent residents are pending. It allows a person who would qualify for permanent residency except for an immigration status violation, to pay a $1,000 penalty to continue processing in the United States.

To qualify, people must have been in the U.S. on Dec. 21, 2000, and they must file immigrant visa petitions or apply for labor certification by the April 30 deadline.

The law, signed Dec. 21 by former President Bill Clinton, temporarily reinstates parts of provision 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

It also creates new temporary ‘V’ status for spouses and minor children of certain permanent residents and ‘K’ status for spouses and certain fiancés of U.S. citizens; it has special provisions for participants in three “late amnesty” lawsuits.

“This not an amnesty plan,” warned Sylvia Hinds-Radix, chief counsel of the DC 37 Immigration Program. “But we can help members make use of its benefits.”

For clarification of the new law, information on the new V and K visas, and assistance in filing applications, members should call the program at (212) 341-4700.


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