Back in march of last year, I wrote about the DOJ deciding not to enforce DOMA but that a recalcitrant DHS would continue to abide by it. Then in April 2011, I ranted about the need for executive action in adjudicating waivers for Dreamers. I am ecstatic that President Obama issued an executive order modifying the adjudication of waivers in a manner that will greatly shorten the separation time between family members waiting for a waiver to be approved.Under the new I-601A regulation, a qualified immediate relative applicant or the petitioner would file the I-601A waiver application and the application will be processed and approved in a matter of weeks and provisional approval will issue.
The approved applicant will only leave the US when their visa interview is scheduled. Because they will have an approved waiver to present to the Consular Officer, they will be granted a visa immediately if they are not otherwise inadmissible. Of course, immediately here means according to each Consulate’s backlogged schedule. The would-be immigrant will avoid the long separation from their family that the current regulations inflict upon families and ultimately leading to their fragmentation. Now that the President has announced his support for equal rights for the LGBT community, I certainly hope that this constitutes the second shot across the bow of DOMA, with the nonenforcement of it by the DOJ being the first. DOMA needs to go. Ex-Congressman Bob Barr, the creator of DOMA called for its end several years ago. Let us begin to deconstruct this abomination and let all people be truly free.
Aime M. Katambwe, Esq. 5/11/2012
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