Girl meets boy. They fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after – unless one partner is a U.S. citizen and the other is undocumented. Workers who are in the U.S. illegally and who have married American citizens – like Maura and Osvaldo - are required to return to their country of origin in order to fill out the correct paperwork. The Obama administration announced support for plans to lessen the time that families spend apart in January 2012, by allowing them to start the visa process in the U.S. The proposal upset some anti-immigration groups who see the struggling economy as a sign that tougher immigration laws are needed. Undocumented family members still must show that it is an extreme hardship – an expensive and difficult process – on their U.S. families if they are separated.
Update: On January 2, 2013, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano finalized the Obama administration’s proposal that families may apply for extreme hardship waivers while they are still living in the United States, starting March 4th.
Produced by Vicky Pasquantonio and Bee Logan
Narrated by Bee Logan
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