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Newspapers Feature 245(i)
by Nina Manchanda

245(i), a special immigration provision that allows immigrants who were in the United States on December 21, 2000, and qualify for permanent residency, but entered the US illegally or have overatyed, to adjust their status with a penalty of $1,000, has generated much interest in the national press. Spurred by the April 30th expiration date of 245(i), the thousands of illegal immigrants nationwide who could benefit from this provision and the sheer number of newspaper readers who are immigrants or know someone who knows someone that may be affected by 245(i), newspapers throughout the United States have carried numerous articles with information about section 245(i).

Many newspaper have carried articles that explain the general requirements and benefits of section 245(i). For example, the Associated Press published the article, INS: Eligible Immigrants May Pay $1,000 to Adjust Status in US, the Virginian-Pilot carried New Law Gives Hope to Illegal Immigrants, and the Des Moines Register reported that Law Gives Immigrants Residency Opportunity.

Several newspapers cautioned their readers about unscrupulous notarios taking advantage of the misinformation surrounding 245(i), and alerted readers to the possibility of new scams arising from the confusing change in the immigration law. The Sacramento Bee warned its readers with the article Scam Alert: Amnesty Scheme Targets Immigrants , the Los Angeles Times reported that Immigrants Are Warned About Dishonest Citizenship Consultants, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel informed its readers that Immigration Scam Prompts Warning.

Newspapers all around the country reported on the significant increase in the number of people getting married during the recent months in order to take advantage of 245(i) before the law expires. The New York Times commented on the rise in Immigrants Rush to Marry During Brief Break in Law, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Marriages are Surging From Coast to Coast -- Expiration of a Loophole in U.S. Immigration Law May Be the Reason, an article in the Fresno Bee stated Valley Immigrants Rush to Tie the Knot, and the San Jose Mercury News published the article Newly Married Couples Rush to Beat INS Deadline, Creating a Traffic Jam.

With the April 30th deadline quickly approaching several newspapers have reported that there has been interest in extending the April 30th deadline for another six months. Both Newsday, in the article Immigrant Deadline Extension Is Sought, and the Journal News, in Advocates Rally to Extend Temporary Immigration Law, have reported that a bill for the extension of 245(i) has been introduced in Congress and local New York lawmakers as well as nonprofit groups, religious organizations and congressional representatives from other states have been helping to lobby for the passage of an extension for 245(i).

If the legislation urging the extension of 245(i) is passed we can be sure to read about it in newspapers all across the US. The strong newspaper interest we have seen over the past few months on 245(i) is testimony to the increasingly important role immigration plays in American society.

About The Author

Nina Manchanda is currently assistant editor of Immigration Daily and Immigrant's Weekly. Prior to joining ILW.COM she was a pro bono attorney with Midwest Immigrants Rights Center in Chicago where she speicialized in children's immigration issues.

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