Thursday, June 28, 2007

Reforming Immigration

Now that the "comprehensive" bill on immigration has been sunk, perhaps the infinite wisdom of our legislative overlords could perchance address little issues like this one. Here is a family who has been here eighteen years, tried to follow the rules and yet faces deportation because of a bureaucratic snafu from a period when the government's program allowing these people entry was all of 45 days old. The really bad part is that the father's family worked for the US government in Laos.

As the family's lawyer puts it:

"Peltz said the fact the Guy Vang’s family worked for the U.S. government for many years should come into the play, as well as the fact that the rest of his entire family is legally here — either with refugee status, valid green cards or other documents. "Their case took 14 years to come to a decision. During this time, they had work authorization, they were allowed to stay here, they were allowed to work and they built this life here … they had two other children who grew up just in the United States," Peltz said. "The government messed up in this case but there’s no recourse when the government messes up. And that’s the biggest issue in this case — there’s been a 14-year delay and they built a life." It would have been one thing if the government decided the Vangs were illegal and deported them even a few years after arriving in the United States. But throughout the whole legal ordeal since then, Peltz said, there has been no good explanation of why it took so long for their asylum application to be processed."

Again, as I've stated before, the status of people fleeing political repression have to be treated in a far different manner than those fleeing economic circumstances, particularly in cases like this one.

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