DC 37s 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
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.
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.
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.