The U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing a case that may affect the ability of immigrants to legally enter into our country. Mayorkas v. Cuellar de Osorio involves the application for a 1998 visa by a woman from El Salvador and her 13-year old son who wished to join the woman’s mother in the United States. While the application for the visa was approved, it did not actually become available until 2005.
A number of things changed in the intervening period. The woman’s son had by then turned 21-years-old. Immigration authorities stated that the son would have to start the entire visa process over again. This resulted in Ms. de Osorio bringing a lawsuit that has now gone all the way to the nation’s highest court.
It is claimed that the immigration authorities’ actions were not in compliance with immigration policy. It further was said to have contravened the authority of Congress to pass laws. It has been maintained that the underlying assumption behind immigration decisions is to make efforts to allow families to stay together.
It seems particularly troublesome that a young man is apparently being punished due to an immigration system that has been slow in making determinations. This also seems to be an unfortunately common problem. It has been reported that visas are still being processed from the Philippinesas far back as 1990, and that 1993 visa applications from Mexico are also still being reviewed.
Family based immigration matters are too essential to be handled by individuals that may not understand how the system operates. When those residing in Louisiana or anyplace else in the country are faced with immigration issues that may result in a family being separated, experienced attorneys are needed.
Every immigration case is unique and requires individual handling. Yet as the above case demonstrates, there also needs to be fairness in immigration rulings across the board. Immigrants who are trying to do the right thing by going through the legal process should not then find themselves punished.
Source: NBC Latino, “Opinion: On immigration case, Supreme Court should rule for families and fairness,” Raul A. Reyes, Dec. 15, 2013