More time for illegal immigrants to get visas recommended |

More time for illegal immigrants to get visas recommended


WASHINGTON (AP) – The Immigration and Naturalization Service is recommending that illegal immigrants who missed last month’s deadline to apply for visas get an additional six months to 12 months to do so.

The agency’s acting commissioner, Kevin Rooney, told a House Appropriations subcommittee Wednesday that the INS believes about 200,000 people who were eligible for the visas did not apply under the law that expired April 30.

Rooney said he favors the extension because his agency was slow to come up with regulations, which slowed the application process.

President Bush last week wrote congressional leaders urging them to give illegal immigrants more time to apply. Bush has not said how much more time he is seeking.

Rep. Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., said the INS recommendation bodes well for the possibility of an extension.

”Now you have the president saying it. You have INS saying it. You have Republican members of Congress saying it. It could be good,” he said.

The Legal Immigration and Family Equity Act allowed an estimated 640,000 illegal immigrants to apply for visas without first returning to their home countries and applying from there. That was significant because illegal immigrants found to have violated U.S. immigration laws are barred from re-entering the United States once they leave.

A visa allows an immigrant to stay in the country. Once granted, it reserves a place to later apply for a green card, which means permanent legal residency.

Several bills have been filed to give the immigrants more time.

On the Net:

Immigration and Naturalization Service:

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.