Interview with attorney Desmond P. FitzGerald by the international news channel NTN24.com
February 11th, 2015
Interview with Boston Immigration attorney Desmond P. Fitzgerald by the international news station NTN24.com, regarding the proposed immigration regulation (I-601A waiver), to reduce the time families of undocumented immigrants are separated during the processing of certain visas for spouses and children of U.S. Citizens.
Immigration reform in the U.S. expedites processing of visas for family members of US citizens.
NTN: NTN24 debates this news from Boston, MA with Desmond P. Fitzgerald, Managing Director of Fitzgerald & Company and expert attorney in immigration and criminal defense matters.
Good afternoon Desmond, thanks for being with our audience in the United States and in Latin America. First of all I wanted to ask about the expectations that there may be regarding this proposal. Will there be many families that stand to benefit if this separation time can be reduced?
Desmond P. Fitzgerald (DPF) : yes, This proposal (I- 601A waiver) is a very good proposal and it will have a dramatic impact on many people. Especially for people who are here with families who have citizenship. For example, if a person has entered without permission and is married to an American Citizen and wants their papers but can not do so under the current system without returning home for a long time, this proposal will allow that people in this type of situation receive the immigration pardon they need to obtain legal papers, here in the United States. Usually, the waiver (pardon) process takes from 11 to 14 months, and usually the person has to remain outside the U.S. during this time. If this proposal is accepted, people can obtain this waiver here in this country, and this will reduce the amount of time the person has to leave the country and be separated from their family..
NTN: Attorney, who is going to present this proposal exactly? And, in what way will the government offer those benefits?
DPF: This proposal was submitted by the President (Obama) and the Department of Immigration. The Department of Immigration is part of his administration and they are presenting this to the United States. If they receive support for this proposal, they will have the authority to implement it.
NTN: There is a condition to access this benefit; it says the American family must demonstrate that the absence of their relative will cause an extreme economic or humanitarian hardship. What should American families who have undocumented immigrants as members of their family do? How should they present this argument to the U.S. authorities?
DPF: That’s a very important point . This law is not for everyone. It is for people who can demonstrate that separation from their family will have a dramatic impact for those who have citizenship and live here. For example, if a father needs to leave for a year or a year and a half to wait and get their visa outside the U.S., and no one is here to work and support the family, such conditions can prove to the government that this father needs to live here, and can not spend much time outside. Another example is if a member of the family is outside of the U.S., many times children also need to leave the country because there is no one here to care of them. They need to attend a school outside the country, and often do not speak the language or do not have a house. There are many ways for people to show that leaving the country will have a strong impact in their family’s life.
NTN: Attorney, we want to thank you very much. In a few hours we will be expecting the news that will benefit hundreds of undocumented immigrants in the United States. An expert in immigration, attorney Desmond P. Fitzgerald in Boston, MA. Thank you very much for joining us here on NTN 24.
DPF: Thank you.