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Thread: More Aliens May Qualify for 1986 Amnesty

  1. #1
    US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will begin accepting applications for a class of aliens who were denied amnesty under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 because of issues as to whether their unlawful status was "known to the government." This decision stems from a September 9, 2008 class action law suit settlement agreement in the case. (USCIS Press Release, November 3, 2008)

    IRCA granted amnesty to almost 3 million illegal aliens in 1986, while another 250,000 applications were denied. Three class-action lawsuits have been filed against USCIS (formerly known as Immigration and Naturalization Services) since the 1986 amnesty bill was signed into law. Four years ago, a settlement gave amnesty to about 2,000 illegal aliens. USCIS spokeswoman Sharon Rummery has estimated that approximately 10,000 additional illegal aliens may qualify for amnesty as a result of the new settlement. (Statesman Journal, November 18, 2008)

    The settlement allows a class of aliens whose applications were denied for certain reasons to move to reopen their applications with USCIS for review under legal standards agreed upon in the settlement. (Northwest Immigrant Rights Project v. United States Citizenship and immigration Services)

    The settlement agreement requires applicants to meet three general requirements to be eligible:

    * An applicant must have entered the United States on a non-immigrant visa prior to January 1, 1982.
    * The applicant must have lived continuously and illegally in the United States from prior to January 1, 1982 until some time between May 5, 1987 and May 4, 1988 when the applicant visited the then Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) office to apply for legalization under the 1986 law.
    * The applicant has not been convicted of certain criminal offenses, including: one felony or three misdemeanors in the US; any crime of moral turpitude; or any drug offense except possession of marijuana under 30 grams. (Id.)

    Additionally, the alien must fall into at least one of the following three categories:

    * The alien violated their nonimmigrant status prior to January 1, 1982, and the violation of the status is evident based on government files.
    * The alien entered the U.S. prior to January 1, 1982 as a student or temporary worker and failed to maintain that status.
    * After January 1, 1982 the alien obtained some immigration benefit for which the alien was not entitled. (Id.)

    Finally, the alien must have made a significant effort to apply for amnesty during the 1987-88 application period. Such efforts include attempting to apply, but being advised that the alien was ineligible or being refused an application form. (Id.) Illegal aliens will be granted a one-year period to reapply for the new amnesty, beginning February 1, 2009. A $585 reapplication fee will be charged for illegal aliens who were wrongly rejected under the 1986 amnesty and meet the qualifications, while illegal aliens who never applied but still qualify will be charged $1,130. Applying for amnesty does not guarantee that an illegal alien's status will be changed; however, the government cannot deport those who apply even if their applications are rejected. (Statesman Journal, November 18, 2008)

  2. #2
    US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will begin accepting applications for a class of aliens who were denied amnesty under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 because of issues as to whether their unlawful status was "known to the government." This decision stems from a September 9, 2008 class action law suit settlement agreement in the case. (USCIS Press Release, November 3, 2008)

    IRCA granted amnesty to almost 3 million illegal aliens in 1986, while another 250,000 applications were denied. Three class-action lawsuits have been filed against USCIS (formerly known as Immigration and Naturalization Services) since the 1986 amnesty bill was signed into law. Four years ago, a settlement gave amnesty to about 2,000 illegal aliens. USCIS spokeswoman Sharon Rummery has estimated that approximately 10,000 additional illegal aliens may qualify for amnesty as a result of the new settlement. (Statesman Journal, November 18, 2008)

    The settlement allows a class of aliens whose applications were denied for certain reasons to move to reopen their applications with USCIS for review under legal standards agreed upon in the settlement. (Northwest Immigrant Rights Project v. United States Citizenship and immigration Services)

    The settlement agreement requires applicants to meet three general requirements to be eligible:

    * An applicant must have entered the United States on a non-immigrant visa prior to January 1, 1982.
    * The applicant must have lived continuously and illegally in the United States from prior to January 1, 1982 until some time between May 5, 1987 and May 4, 1988 when the applicant visited the then Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) office to apply for legalization under the 1986 law.
    * The applicant has not been convicted of certain criminal offenses, including: one felony or three misdemeanors in the US; any crime of moral turpitude; or any drug offense except possession of marijuana under 30 grams. (Id.)

    Additionally, the alien must fall into at least one of the following three categories:

    * The alien violated their nonimmigrant status prior to January 1, 1982, and the violation of the status is evident based on government files.
    * The alien entered the U.S. prior to January 1, 1982 as a student or temporary worker and failed to maintain that status.
    * After January 1, 1982 the alien obtained some immigration benefit for which the alien was not entitled. (Id.)

    Finally, the alien must have made a significant effort to apply for amnesty during the 1987-88 application period. Such efforts include attempting to apply, but being advised that the alien was ineligible or being refused an application form. (Id.) Illegal aliens will be granted a one-year period to reapply for the new amnesty, beginning February 1, 2009. A $585 reapplication fee will be charged for illegal aliens who were wrongly rejected under the 1986 amnesty and meet the qualifications, while illegal aliens who never applied but still qualify will be charged $1,130. Applying for amnesty does not guarantee that an illegal alien's status will be changed; however, the government cannot deport those who apply even if their applications are rejected. (Statesman Journal, November 18, 2008)

  3. #3

  4. #4
    hi figaro i came in 1981 to this country and worked in the resturant busines so i aply in 1986 for the annesty i never got the apoiment letter when i went to the ins offices to see what was the problems they tall me my case was denied so please you think i my have a change on this new setlement even do i enter with out visa to this country via mexico please advise on this thanks desperaly need help bye

  5. #5
    Entering without a visa is hard to win the case, this is the most important requirement in this settlement; however, you can apply paying $585.00 if you can prove that you applied in 1986

  6. #6
    Yes hard rock, "if you can prove that you applied in 1986", you have better chances. I know of people that were applying for the program even in 1992 I believe under LULAC or so. So of these people used forged documents to prove that they have been here prior to the amnesty date but the immigration officers are not too stupid to buy all those claims. Your tax returns is one of the documents you can use to prove that you were here prior to that date. Immigration correspondence is another document you can also use. Any way goodluck you all.

  7. #7
    Being a Lulac or CSS member is giving you the opportunity to reapply, even if you have a case pending. Nobody should loose the opportunity to reapply.

  8. #8
    Hey Figaro1d,

    If you were denied with the CSS/LULAC/Newman why bother throwing another $585 down the toilet? Especially since this latest incarnation is even more difficult to qualify for? For almost everybody, this will only buy a little more time. But maybe that's worth $585?

  9. #9

  10. #10
    Hi all, like hardrock, I have questions too! My parents and I came from South Korea on Dec 1981 on 4 year F student visas. (They were F1, I was F2.) Eventually, the visa expired in 85 and we were left without legal status. My father did attend school for awhile, then dropped out post 82. And as I was reading in the LA Times the other day, it stated: Many who entered the United States on valid visas but fell out of legal status between 1982 and 1988 are eligible for the amnesty offered under the 1986 immigration reform law. But here's the thing - I read that for this settlement, you had to be illegal prior to Jan 1, 1982, so does that make us ineligible for this new/old amnesty? Or did they have a new agreement for the visa overstayers? Also, I wondered - how are other people eligible when their visas expired in 88? Was working during your student visa an actual trigger to becoming illegal prior to Jan 1, 1982? And what are (other) ways to trigger the "illegal" clause? Thanks to all who respond. I would appreciate any answers.

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