Senators Lay Out 2009 Priorities at Progressive Media Summit

Written by on January 26, 2009 in Legislation, Reform with 2 Comments

Last week at the 2009 Senate Democratic Progressive Media Summit Democratic Senators laid out priorities for 2009. Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke with great force about the need to enact immigration reform and his intention to do so in the coming year.

While he prefaced his comments by stating that immigration is the issue that garners the most “threats” against him, he said comprehensive immigration reform is important to our country. While he said it must include protecting our borders, a guest worker program, and employer sanctions; he also said we must bring the “10 million out of the shadows” and described a program that would put them in a line for citizenship where they would pay penalties and fines and get right with the law.

He finished up by telling the story of a young woman he met at an event in Smith Valley, Nevada who explained to the Senator that she was at the top of her class, but wouldn’t be able to attend college because her parents were undocumented. He said “I can’t get this girl out of my mind.”  For video of his statements visit RI Future who posted video of his comments and wrote:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid surprised me yesterday with his answer on immigration at the Progressive Media Summit.  There were no midling, evasive answers: he went right at the issue and promised action this year…


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  • My name is Lucia De Biedma, and I have been living with my children Juan Manuel, Fermin, and Gaston De Biedma, who are aged 15, 18, and 19 respectively, for 13 years. I have been living in this country legally using the Visas H1, H4, E2, and EB3, and am currently working under a sponsorship.

    My request is for justice due to an error on part by the Immigration Department in the year 2003. Because of that error, I am trapped in a backlog with the risk that my children will stay outside the protection of my Visa due to the law that protects children until the age of 21.

    On July 9, 2008, we were interviewed by the Immigration Department of Orlando Tradeport in which my EB3 case was approved (from 140), but unfortunately, the Visas for the EB3 category ran out just nine days before. In that moment they were checking cases which were submitted up to March, 2006. My case is that my EB3 was filed in the month of December, 2005, yet the Immigration Department claimed that I had to wait until October of 2008 for there to be available Visas for my Green Card. Surprisingly, when October of 2008 came, instead of checking cases of March, 2006, they went back one year and started checking cases from March of 2005. Additionally, on March 9, 2009, a recent bulletin involving immigration showed a terrible retrogression to March of 2003 for the Worldwide EB3 Category check. I am very concerned about paying thousands of dollars and living legally in this country, while at the same time I will not be able to protect my children because they are approaching the age of 21.

    My request to you, Mr. Senator, is that you please help us overcome the obstacles that the Bureaucracy of Immigration is placing upon us, and help us to review our case.

    Lucia De Biedma

  • David Novack

    Mr. Senator Reid, current immigration law places a 10 year ban on re-entry into our country for individuals who entered the US illegally then returned to their country of origin. In my circumstance, I find this law to be harsh and unforgiving. I do understand the intent for the law, however, if a U.S. citizen files a I-129F petition for a fiance visa for an individual who admittedly entered our country illegally but needed to return to their country, the law, as written, gives no options for re-entry except to plead a hardship case.
    This is my situation. I am engaged to a South Korean women who entered the US illegally and she is now banned from the United States for what is now 8 years and counting. My request is, can’t the current law include a monetary fine to be imposed for her illegal act so she can enter the country legally through a fiance visa?

    David Novack