Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) led Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) in calling on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) to make cancellation of removal more accessible for long-term noncitizen residents of the United States.
For decades, noncitizens who have resided in the U.S. for at least 10 years, have a qualifying family relationship like an American spouse or child, pass criminal and security background checks, demonstrate their own good moral character, and show that their qualifying family members would face exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if the applicant were deported may be eligible for cancellation of removal and gain lawful permanent resident status. However, current immigration law discourages deserving applicants by imposing significant risks and delays to anyone pursuing cancellation of removal. Cortez Masto and her colleagues are calling on the administration to address these risks by streamlining the process, which could benefit Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients and could reduce notario fraud.
“We encourage USCIS and EOIR to work together on rulemaking for a streamlined cancellation of removal process,” wrote the Senators. “It is estimated that 1.2 million undocumented individuals are married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, and about 4.1 million U.S. citizen children have undocumented parents. Establishing a new process for cancellation of removal could have a significant positive impact on many of those individuals and help deliver on the administration’s commitment to immigrant families who deserve to stay together and live and work in the communities they call home.”
The full letter is available HERE.
The first and only Latina Senator, Senator Cortez Masto has consistently supported immigrant communities in Nevada, calling onthe administration to take action to protect TPS holders and other immigrants, as well as leading commonsense legislation to fix our broken immigration system. She has worked to pass meaningful immigration reform that balances critical border security measures with a path to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, and essential workers, and she’s pushed legislation to allow Dreamers and TPS holders to work in Congress.