The issue of immigration is one of the most prominent hot-button topics is the United States today but ironically it is also one of the slowest to move through Congress. Despite the stagnancy of immigration reform in this country, the Obama administration recently purported to offer legal status to illegal immigrants who have relatives serving in the United States military. Such status would not only include citizenship but would also provide these individuals with military benefits as well. The policy involves the parents, spouses, and children of military reservists, veterans, and of course those in active duty and, according to supporters, it is one that should have been implemented years ago.
The benefits to the servicemen and women and their families to whom this policy applies are fairly obvious. The family members receive United States citizenship and their military kin receive the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their loved ones are not at risk of being deported. Those opposed to the policy, however, claim that there will now be an entire “class of aliens” that have no legal right to take up residence in the U.S. living and working in the country solely because the happen to be related to a member of the military.
The controversy attached to this new policy involves the fact that it was never submitted for Congressional approval and hence it was never published in the Federal Register. The Register is in place to make the public aware of changes and addendums to federal policies and to give an opportunity for public discourse on the issue. The fact that these steps were not taken in regard to this particular measure gives many opponents the impression that the policy was implemented illegally. But supporters point to the fact that the policy is based on existing statutes and as such it falls within the president’s authority to give the go-ahead without Congressional approval or public insight.
From the standpoint of the military servicemen and women themselves to whom the policy applies, there is the sense that those who criticize and oppose it do so because they do not have the proper perspective. Many believe that their family members are simply seen as illegal aliens who are being given a free ride in a country where they were not born and in which they do not belong. They believe, however, that they should be seen as the spouse, parent, sibling, or child of a United States military serviceman instead.
Citizenship for these individuals carries with it entitlement to healthcare, education, and survivor benefits as well as a social security number, a driver’s license, and other government identification documents ordinarily reserved for those born on United States soil. There is a sense of self-worth that has been kept from the family members of these military members and that say supporters can finally be restored. It is beneficial not only to the families involved but to the communities in which they live as well.
Immigration issues are continuing to plague the United States as politicians continue to bicker over reforming the present system. In the meantime, people’s lives are being affected. If you or someone you know needs help with an immigration issue of any kind, please contact the Austin, Texas immigration attorney at the Lyttle Law Firm by vising the website or calling 512.25.5225.