Friday, April 14, 2006

Immigration laws that hurt families

Jeff Jacoby

When Sumathi Athluri met the man she was destined to marry, it was love at first sight. She sensed at once that Jeevan Kumar, a young physician working on a World Health Organization project to eradicate polio in India, was someone special. ....

Jeevan was equally taken with Sumathi, a software engineer from Hyderabad who had moved to the United States on an H-1B work visa in 1999 and had become a legal permanent resident ... in February 2002. The couple was married in India in August 2002, and for the first three months of their marriage they were virtually inseparable.

But green-card holders are not permitted to remain abroad indefinitely, and when the time came for Sumathi to return to the United States, she was a wreck. "It was so painful to leave him," she says. "I was crying in the plane all the way to the US."

Hoping to be quickly reunited with her husband, Sumathi filed a Form I-130, an application for an immigrant visa that would allow Jeevan to enter the United States. That was when she ran headlong into what has been called the most anti-family, anti-marriage, anti-immigrant aspect of American law: the prolonged and pointless separation of legal permanent residents from their spouses and children.

Read the rest. It's outrageous.

2 Comments:

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At 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I met my husband when he was touring the U.S. He and I married after a little while and I paid over 3,000 dollars for permanent residency for him. We filed all the paperwork, included all the checks, went to every appointment they required. His fingerprints cleared. Finally after months of waiting my husband got his card and immediately got a state driver's license to replace his foreign license. He began applying for jobs but it was slow going because his English skills weren't the best. Anyway one night I left work early because I was already done and came home. A short time later some men come knocking on our door and take my husband away. I was hysterical! A few days later my husband calls me crying from a completely different area of the state saying he's being deported. The reason? They have no record of his card in their system! They are able to examine the card and run the number but still insist that it can't exist because it's not in their computer system. I tried everything including lawyers and governors in my state but nothing stopped his deportation. There's more weirdness to our story but I won't go into it. I sold everything we owned at a major loss and I followed him to his country. Despite repeated enquiries we have received no explanation or apology for what happened to my husband. No recognition that a mistake was made. And we're not holding our breath.

 

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