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US Senate pushes bill for dependents of soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq

The first session of the 111th Congress has pushed for a resolution that would grant adjustment of status for family members of persons who served honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States during the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, and for other purposes.

Called the Military Families Act S. 2757 introduced by Senators Menendez, Durbin, Feingold, Gillibrand, Inouye and Landrieu to the Committee on the Judiciary, the bill would authorize the Homeland Security or the Attorney-General of the United States to adjust the status of an alien described in subsection (b) to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence if the alien applies for such adjustment; is admissible to the United States by the Homeland Secretary for the processing of such applications, unless such fee was waived by the Secretary; and is physically present in the United States.

The bill said those eligible for the adjustment of status include parents, spouse, child, son or daughter of a living Armed Forces member; and a deceased Armed Forces member provided the Armed Forces member died as a result of injury or disease incurred in or aggravated by the Armed Forces member's service.

It also added that the death of the Armed Forces member occurred prior to the date of the enactment of this bill not later than two years after the date of such enactment. Or the death of the member occurred after the date of the enactment of this Act, not later than two years after the death of the Armed Forces member.

The proposed bill described the Armed Forces member as any person who is or was at the time of the person's death a United States citizen or lawfully admitted for permanent residence and is serving or has served honorably on or after October 7, 2001 as a regular member of the Armed Forces of the United States. Family members of those honorably discharged are also qualified for adjustment of status.

It further said that "upon approval of the adjustment of status under this bill, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall create a record of the alien's admission as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence; and no offset in the number of visas available."

It also clarified that "If an alien is lawfully admitted for permanent residence under this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall not reduce the number of immigrant visas authorized to be issued under the  Immigration and Nationality Act."


 

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