The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has seen the waiving of certain immigration laws by the Obama administration. While these measures are usually handled by the Department of Homeland Security, the US Citizen and Immigration Services has posted a press release that due to the fact that a person’s ability to acquire certain benefits or maintain lawful status can be affected by a natural disaster, eligible individuals could be able to ask for temporary relief measures, according to the Washington Times.
USCIS says that these benefits could include expedited adjudications for applications for FI employment authorization, an extension of non-immigrant status for those living in the United States even if their request comes after the expiration of the admission period, an extension for people who have previously been granted parole by USCIS, and assistance given to legal permanent residents who have been stranded abroad.
If someone is unable to go to an interview due to the hurricane, they may be able to reapply providing they can submit the proper forms of evidence in order to cement the claim. Those who cannot reply to Requests for Evidence or Notices of Intent to Deny will also be given an extended deadline of 30 days, according to USCIS.
The waiver was supported by the Obama administration who stated that the ability of an individual to maintain their lawful immigration status can be negatively impacted by a natural disaster, although critics argue that the move is unwarranted.