Thousands of undocumented immigrants may be eligible to apply for Permanent Residency Status under the new Immigration Law 245 (i), but the deadline to file papers is April 30, 2001.
245 (i), also known as LIFE (Legal Immigrant and Family Equity Act), allows undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States while they apply for change in residency status. Previously, immigrants without documents had to leave the country, and in many cases be separated from their families for up to 10 years while they applied for visas.
There are several key features of this law that immigrants should be aware of:
- 245(i) is not for everyone. There are strict eligibility rules.
- It is NOT amnesty, but it can help keep families together.
- 245 (i) requires a family or employer sponsored petition.
- 245 (i) requires a $1000 fee paid to the government.
GET THE FACTS, BUT DON’T GET RIPPED OFF!
Immigrants beware! There are many unscrupulous people who call themselves immigration counselors, promising amnesty or other quick solutions for a big fee. Such scam artists are only looking to take money from immigrants. They can not deliver legal solutions to immigration problems.
All union members, families or friends who may benefit from this new legislation should seek additional information and eligibility requirements now, while there is still time to apply. Those interested should contact the New York City Central Labor Council Commission on the Dignity of Immigrants Hotline at (212) 684-3505 or the New York Immigration Coalition at (212) 627-2227.