Thursday, December 16, 2010

Private Legislation

Every year, large numbers of noncitizens with compelling circumstances are removed from the United States because their cases do not fall squarely within the ambit of existing immigration laws.  One potential avenue for addressing the shortcomings of current immigration laws on a case-by-case basis, without comprehensive immigration reform, is through the private legislation process.  Private legislation can be used to provide a much-needed remedy which is lacking under existing law in a particular case.

Successful use of private immigration legislation is rare.  Recently, however, Virginia's own Senator Jim Webb sponsored a private bill for the Japanese widow and son of an American Marine killed in Iraq.  Immigration refused to recongize the marriage despite the fact that it had been recognized by the military.   The first successful private immigration bill since 2006, the bill passed the House on Wednesday and now awaits the President's signature.

Read more about the Private Bill here.

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