January 25, 2011
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) recently introduced H.R. 398, which amends immigration law to protect military personnel and their spouses. This legislation would allow military personnel serving overseas and their spouses, to freeze the 90 day filing period for removing conditional status, until the service member returns from his or her deployment. Under current immigration law, when any person becomes a lawful permanent resident through marriage to an American, conditions are placed on that status if the marriage is less than two years old at the time of admission to this country or adjustment of status. New couples are then given a 90-day period of time just prior to the second anniversary of the grant of conditional residence within which to petition to lift those conditions. They are given a second 90-day period of time to appear for an interview before the Department of Homeland Security. If either requirement is not met, the conditional permanent residence is terminated and the foreign national spouse could be deported. Co-sponsors include, Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Lamar Smith, Ranking Member Rep. John Conyers, and Immigration Subcommittee Chair Elton Gallegly.
“While this legislation falls far short of the comprehensive reform immigration reform that our system desperately needs, it will be of immense help to the dozens of military families that will benefit from this change,” noted Rep. Zoe Lofgren. “The brave men and women who take up our nations call to serve need to focus on the important jobs they are doing. This bill gives them the flexibility to delay their filing until they are prepared to do so.”