Military personnel with undocumented immigrant family in South Carolina and across the country can now rest a little easier. With the proposed immigration bill languishing in Congress, the prospect of family members being deported while troops are deployed was a constant worry for many military families. But now, a White House memorandum delineates a new policy: Spouses, children and parents of active-duty members of the armed forces will be eligible for a "parole in place," authorizing them to remain in the U.S., along with the possibility of applying to become lawful permanent residents.
In Part One of this series, we wrote about the impending changes to the current immigration system, whether through sweeping reform or piecemeal legislation. South Carolina legal residents who are trying to get extended family members into the U.S. under the so-called sibling category may be wondering if this means their relatives will be shut out. Not necessarily, but it helps to understand what is behind the push towards these changes and what to expect from the new legislation.
Immigrants in South Carolina, like immigrants anywhere in the United States, often share a similar history. They often enter the country alone and then later send for their spouse, if they have one. Still later, they may send for other family members, such as a brother or sister, or a married son or daughter. There's nothing like family for providing a much-needed support system for immigrants trying to make it in a new country.
South Carolina residents of the Catholic faith may be heartened by the news that a church leader has written a letter calling on the House of Representatives to quit stalling on immigration legislation. Addressed to House Speaker John Boehner, a Catholic, on behalf of 450-plus U.S. bishops and cardinals, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops and the archbishop of New York, calls the immigration legislation problem "a matter of great moral urgency," and respectfully requested that lawmakers resolve the issue before the end of the year.
It may not be a widely known fact to South Carolina construction workers that, due to budget cuts, the average workplace gets a visit from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) just once every 99 years. What effect that might have on workplace safety for immigrant workers on construction sites is anyone's guess.
It's a terrifying prospect for many immigrants: detention and deportation. It's also a somewhat arbitrary and ever-changing scenario that keeps immigrants always in uncertainty. While Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) still has not set any real standards for detention, this virtual lack of rules regarding why and who gets detained does not extend to how many people get detained.
A motley assortment of conservative leaders - ranging from tea party farmers to tech titans - joined together in Washington on Oct. 29 in a last-ditch effort to urge Congress to vote on immigration reform before congressional re-election campaigns take over their attention next year.