private bill for Arthur Mkoyan and family

Bullard High valedictorian to be deported (back story)
Bill takes family from imminent deportation and into limbo (with private bill)

[edit: how about a link that still works? – Armenian refugees stuck in legal limbo]

– Arthur Mkoyan’s family has sought asylum for sixteen years and it hasn’t yet been granted because U.S. authorities haven’t found sufficient evidence that the family would ‘suffer severe persecution’ upon returning to their country. Thing is, they fled their country – Armenia, a former Soviet republic – because politically-motivated crimes took both the family business and their home (the latter in flames!). Seems a pretty clear indication that Armenia is not the safest place for this family to live…

– Arthur himself wasn’t born on U.S. soil, so he’s considered an illegal immigrant. He was brought here when he was two years old. I’d like to know how it stands to reason that a two year old has any say whatsoever in his parents’ decision to live in one place or another, and why it makes sense to send someone back, sixteen years later, to a country whose language they don’t speak…

– I’m glad a private bill has been introduced, but it’s likely to end up amounting to only a temporary solution for Arthur’s family. ‘Congress grew even more leery of private immigration bills in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks…’ – ?! Private immigration bills aren’t proposed unless the individual or family in question needs asylum, faces ‘compelling circumstances.’ There’s never been reason to be leery of a private bill on behalf of a family who has proven for sixteen years, while struggling to gain legal status through proper channels, that they are law-abiding and hard-working taxpayers who wish to remain and not be uprooted – and 9/11 has absolutely nothing to do with them, it’s a shameful card to play.

Even if you assume that the U.S.’s current immigration system is the best system, that we’re doing things the way we should, Congress’ aversion to private immigration legislation follows faulty logic. If the Mkoyan private bill passes for Arthur and his mother and father, our immigration quota will be reduced by three. If we’re going to have the quota system in place to begin with, should we not prefer to give priority to those immigrants who have not only already proven to be valuable (in whatever sense ICE would like for them to be) members of our society, but have a member of Congress backing them up as well?


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