To the United States Congress, your constituents and the citizens of the United States respectfully request that you extend the benefits of the 245i LIFE act that was referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims under the Bill H.R.85 on March 6, 2003.
The 245i LIFE Act (Legal Immigration & Family Equity Act) was signed into law by President Clinton on December 21, 2000, allowing aliens who have applied for an adjustment of status remain in the U.S. while their application is processed. The 245i program expired on April 30, 2001. There is still pending legislation in the U.S. Congress to extend this deadline, and President Bush has made statements in the past that he would support the extension.
This is a measure that affects aliens who are married to U.S. citizens or have been employed in the U.S. but due to the economic downturn, have lost their jobs. THIS IS NOT AN AMNESTY! But this is a way for a qualifying alien to become a productive, tax-paying legal resident of the United States. Recent estimates are that close to a million aliens and their American families or employers are waiting for this legislation to be passed in Congress.
"Section 245(i) is a sensible approach to improving United States immigration policy. It is a pro-family measure that continues the nation's history of opening its arms to newcomers while promoting the rule of law," Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said. Congresswoman Jackson Lee is the ranking member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims. She is also a member of the Democratic Immigration Taskforce.
Congresswoman Jackson Lee also said, "This measure will enable prospective immigrants who are currently in the United States to remain with their families while they undertake the process of becoming lawful permanent residents. Without Section 245(i), many individuals who are legally eligible to become permanent residents are kept away from their families for years."