Under an interim policy announced last week immigration authorities will recognize heterosexual marriages when one member of the couple is transgender.
New York’s office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says it is actively working with immigrant groups to expedite the citizenship process and calm fears about immigration enforcement.
“If you’re really married you have nothing to fear” – Barbara Felska, an immigration services officer at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s Stokes unit.
E-Verify, the often-criticized electronic system for checking workers’ immigration status, is apparently here to stay. President Obama’s chief of Citizenship and Immigration Services defended the system this week as the government continues to expand its use.
Alejandro Mayorkas, the director of USCIS, “defended the accuracy” of E-Verify during a talk with reporters who cover immigration, The Washington Times reported. This goes against what many business organizations and pro-immigrant advocates have said: that the system makes many mistakes that can leave legal residents jobless.
Mayorkas also said “the agency is continuing to improve the system and get it ready in case Congress mandates it for all U.S. businesses as part of an eventual immigration overhaul,” the Times Stephen Dinan wrote.
Just last week, the administration made it mandatory for federal contractors to use the system to check their workers’ status.
Mayorkas’ statement comes as the Obama administration apparently is attempting to advance immigration reform without alienating those who favor tougher restrictions on unauthorized immigration. E-Verify is a key piece of this strategy, along with other Bush-era enforcement measures that the Obama White House has embraced. This tougher-than-expected approach has irked many in the pro-immigration camp, who don’t see an equal zeal for advancing a reform bill or in making the immigrant detention system more humane.