A Legally Trained Reader Says 245(i) Isn`t Amnesty, We Say It`s Spinach, And We Say….
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faster than our editorial staff could get to it. But
here it is, with replies from James Fulford and Juan
Robert Huntington, Esq., writes.
letter from Gary Butner described former section
245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act as "an
amnesty" and you agreed with him. This is inaccurate
as a brief explanation of 245(i) will demonstrate.
245(i) was first passed in 1994. At that time, those
were illegally present in the United States but
otherwise eligible for an immigrant visa were barred
from adjusting status (i.e., getting their green card
without leaving the U.S.). There was no bar to their
returning home and getting their visa through the U.S.
consulate in their home country. Thousands did so every
year. The main
beneficiaries of this arrangement were the
245(i) allowed people who were then forced to return
home to adjust status by paying a penalty (originally
$750, now $1000). The idea was to channel the money
being spent on the trip home into the U.S. Treasury. NO
HIGHER PRINCIPLE WAS INVOLVED.
Subsequently, in 1996, Congress enacted the 3 and 10
year bars for those who were here illegally and returned
home. In effect, this took away the option of returning
home for a visa and forced people to adjust status based
on 245(i). Afterwards, 245(i) was allowed to expire but
those who had petitions filed before its expiration were
It follows that 245(i) can in no way be described as
an amnesty. It was not intended as such nor does it act
as such. Everyone who is eligible for it is entitled to
a visa, either based on a family petition or an
employment petition. To describe it as an amnesty is
Indeed, one might think that restoring 245(i) would
be one reform that all could agree on, especially those
conservatives who hold family values dear. Right now,
wives and minor children of legal permanent residents
(preference 2A) face a wait of seven years or more.
Hundreds of thousands face the painful choice: break the
law or break up your family. Current law makes it
impossible to both insist on obeying the law and to
support families as the basic building block of society.
Robert Huntington, Esq.
We`ve repeatedly said that 245 (i)
amounts to amnesty, since it allows illegals to stay in
America. (See John Miano`s
explanation here.) You
say it`s not amnesty, we say it is
spinach, and we say the
hell with it.
enforcement and the rule of law gain when illegals have
to leave and come back, especially since the ICE now has
the choice of not letting them in again.
family reunification, families can be reunified
anywhere. If a deportable alien has a wife and child in
America, he can take them with him, which is what an
American does if he`s asked to leave France, Turkey, or
letter, it appears that any
reports of a shortage of sanctimonious alien-apologist
immigration lawyers are entirely unfounded. The bottom
line: of course Immigration Act Section 245(i) was a
non-deportation amnesty by virtue of its free pass for
forgiving unlawful presence and illegal entry. If it
weren`t, the aliens wouldn`t bother to apply for it.
n. a decision by a government to forgive people who have
committed particular illegal acts or crimes. –
Cambridge Dictionary of American English
those who applied for Section 245(i) were by definition
removable illegal aliens and visa over-stayers who
should have been kicked out of the country, that is,
loaded onto buses and planes heading outbound to wait in
their homelands for visas through normal channels of
instead of being sent out of the U.S. on the
next thing smokin` . .
. these aliens were accommodated by being allowed to
remain on U.S. soil while supposedly waiting for some
fourth-preference visa number to come up, regardless of
whether or not their stepbrother`s I-130 [immigrant
petition] turned out to be completely fraudulent.
Through its many incarnations by “deadline”
extensions, the Section 245(i) charade made this crowd
of consular-bypassing, line-cutting non-current visa
cheaters "non-arrestable" and "non-deportable"
as a matter of former Immigration and Naturalization
Service (INS) policy. This provision allowed these
aliens to NOT be placed in removal proceedings (where
they would hopefully have been
deported eventually –
another story). But
instead, Section 245(i) rolled the decision on their
admissibility over until another day. And yes, that`s an
honest-to-goodness non-deportation amnesty if there ever
Remember also that reunification with precious family
members works both ways (namely, outbound from the U.S.
as well as inbound).
another thing . . . I previously wrote –
08/30/04 – Amnesty Betrayals Past And Present A Handy Reference Guide
– which mentioned Section 245(i) among the six types
of amnesty embedded in current federal immigration
policy, along with the statutes and regulations. Point
deporting any illegal aliens who can adjust status
through family or employment petitioning in the
Various schemes of 245(i);
Child Status Protection Act (age out of visa
categories doesn`t matter); various waivers; and
even allowing illegal aliens convicted of the most
serious crimes in the Immigration Act – aggravated
felonies – to adjust their status through a family
member anyhow and get a
This mind-numbingly complex discussion gives rise to two
(1) Any Bureaucratic maneuver
which enables those illegally present in America to stay
without meaningful penalties is an effective amnesty.
(2) Men who resort to jargon
and obfuscation to disguise this are not Good Guys.
Tell Huntington this.