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Why Don’t Undocummented Immigrants Just Get In Line? The Real Story of Getting a “Green Card”.

People don’t just get in-line because there is no legal line for a vast majority of undocumented immigrants .  Why? Because we are living with a law that was passed in 1952 with too many amendments and numeous patchwork attempts to fix and mend that which is broken.

 Many Americans wonder why all immigrants do not just come to the United States legally or simply “get in line” to gain residence (a “green card”) if they are undocumented. Yet few people understand how grossly out-of-date the U.S. immigration system is and how unable it is to keep up with the demands of a growing and changing U.S. economy and to reflect the needs and values of our diverse nation. Lawmakers have failed for nearly 20 years to update our immigration laws or address the limited opportunities for securing legal immigration status. Today’s overly restrictive legal limits on green cards mean that virtually all undocumented immigrants have no avenues for legal entry to the United States   …

 Only certain categories of persons allowed to “come legally”

Getting a green card is generally limited to four different routes: employment, certain family ties, refugee or asylee processing, and the diversity lottery. Each of these groups includes specific paths, which in turn are subject to specific limitations (e.g., number of visas available and eligibility requirements) and obstacles (e.g., limits by country). Some of the supposedly available routes are in fact unfeasible.

Temporary Extended Status for Honduras

This Notice announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) is extending the designation of Honduras for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months from July 6, 2013 through January 5, 2015.

The extension allows currently eligible TPS beneficiaries to retain TPS through January 5, 2015. The Secretary has determined that an extension is warranted because the conditions in Honduras that prompted the TPS designation continue to be met. There continues to be a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions in Honduras resulting from Hurricane Mitch, and Honduras remains unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return of its nationals.

Update: ‘Princess’ bride receives her green card

Editor’s note: In a recent profile of a local immigration lawyer, introduced a client couple. This story updates their immigration status.

By David Lyne Contributor

The Princess is here to stay.

The immigrant bride of a U.S. citizen and Fauquier County resident she affectionately calls Cowboy got her birthday wish when her “green card,” giving her permanent resident status, arrived Friday in the mail.

(Cowboy says he must remain anonymous because his job with the U.S. government requires a high-level security clearance. Information about Princess, whose real name is Eva, can be revealed now that she is on her way to becoming a U. S. citizen. More about that later.)

“The first thing I did was cry, I was so happy,” she says about receiving the priority mail envelope containing the card “which really is green” from the U.S. Immigration Service.

Donusia Lipinski of the Blue Ridge Immigration Law Center in Warrenton, who guided the couple through the red tape of getting the green card, says she never has seen the process go so smoothly.

Ms. Lipinski accompanied the couple to the Dec. 2 “adjustment of status” interview before an immigration officer in Fairfax.

“We were told the green card probably would arrive in about 60 days. It came exactly one week after the interview.

That’s remarkable,” says Ms. Lipinski.

“I’m so happy,” says Eva. “My birthday is next week (Dec. 15). It’s all I wanted.”

The interview was “very quick, about 15 minutes,” says Eva, who was in this country on a six-month tourist visa when she and Cowboy married in August after a two-year transatlantic courtship.

After the immigration officer confirmed information on the green card application, says Eva, “she asked us when we met, when we started dating, how we stayed in touch, when we got married. That was about it.”

The couple credits Ms. Lipinski with getting all the paperwork in order to make the process go smoothly. “She has been great,” says Cowboy.

Eva’s green card does come with a couple of conditions that are required by Cowboy’s employer.

“We have to stay married for at least two years, and she must become a U.S. citizen within two years,” he says.

(Normally, green card recipients have three years to apply for citizenship.) Also, she cannot leave the U.S. for longer than a year within the two-year period; he cannot be out of the country for more than 60 days at a time.

The beaming newlyweds anticipate no problems in meeting any of the requirements.

Now about Eva

She is from Barcelona, Spain, where she met Cowboy when they crossed paths professionally in 2009. Her mother, married to a Spaniard, is a U.S. citizen because she was born here to immigrant parents, but she lived in the U.S. for only two years. Eva has three siblings. She is a civil engineer who has experience as a project manager and “can design and build. I do buildings, not bridges.” She also speaks Spanish, French and English.

“This will be my first Christmas away from my family,” says Eva. “I will miss them, but now I have a new family.”

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