New visa program remains in limbo Criteria: Confusion stalls implementation of K3-visas and V-visas. - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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New visa program remains in limbo Criteria: Confusion stalls implementation of K3-visas and V-visas.

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Posted: Friday, March 23, 2001 12:00 am

By ANGELES NEGRETE LARES

The Brownsville Herald

A package of immigration reforms intended to unite families remains in limbo

as the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Immigration and Naturalization

Service negotiate rules for issuing two new classes of visas.

In December, former President Bill Clinton signed into law the Legal

Immigration and Family Equity (LIFE) Act.

Among other reforms, the law includes provisions for issuing resident visas to

spouses and minor children of permanent U.S. residents, as well to as spouses

and minor children U.S. citizens who have been waiting for visas for more than

three years.

The visas are dubbed V and K-3. The first is for relatives of permanent

residents, the second for spouses and children under 21 of U.S. citizens

residing abroad.

Up to now, we do not totally know which rules, criteria or mechanisms to

follow for the V and K visas because talks are still going on between the

State Department and the INS in Washington, Arturo Moreno, spokesman for the

INS in Harlingen, said.

He added that U.S. consulates on the border, in addition to the U.S. Consulate

General in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, may process the visas.

Moreno said that by late May regulations could be ready and application forms

available for the new visas.

It is expected that about 200,000 people will benefit once the new visas

become available, INS spokesman Daniel Kane said.

Jose Pertierra, a member of the American Attorneys Association in Washington,

D.C., said the delay is bureaucratic and could have been avoided because INS

had enough time for the total planning of the law, as well as its

enforcement.

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