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Congresswoman to tour Wilson County
Feb 16, 2013 4:00 pm
Congresswoman Diane Black plans to make three stops in Wilson County on Tuesday to meet with constituents, tout local economic development and discuss ideas for immigration reform.
Black’s first stop will be at an immigration roundtable discussion from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at the Wilson County Courthouse in conference room 1 in Lebanon. The discussion is open to invited panelists and members of the media only.
It’s likely at least some of that discussion will center on Black’s recent introduction of the U Visa Reform Act into Congress.
Black said she introduced the bill to stop abuse of the U Visa program by closing loopholes that invite fraud and undermine those who seek to obtain citizenship through the proper legal channels.
“Over a decade ago, the U Visa program was established as a way to allow illegal immigrant crime victims a temporary legal status in order to assist law enforcement in the prosecution of their assailant. In turn, the program has helped to bring thousands of dangerous criminals to justice,” Black said. “However, over time, the program has become a backdoor for obtaining permanent legal status – which was never the intent of this program.
“Rampant fraud and abuse of U Visas now undermines its effectiveness for law enforcement and circumvents the law-abiding individuals who seek to immigrate to our country through the proper legal channels.
“While a criminal act against any individual in this country is inexcusable and reprehensible regardless of immigration status, it is not good immigration policy to staple green cards to police reports for those in the country illegally.”
Black said the act would fix loopholes in the U Visa program by:
• reducing chain migration by limiting visas granted under the program to only spouses and children of victims.
• requiring recipients of U visas be a victim of an actual crime.
• limiting the duration of the U Visa from four years to the lesser of three years or the period of limitations prescribed under applicable law for the qualifying crime.
• making the U Visa a true temporary visa by eliminating the ability of illegal immigrants to adjust status to that of a legal permanent resident under the program.
“We are a nation of immigrations, and we are also a nation built upon respect for the rule of law,” Black said. “Our heritage and our principles demand of us the courage to reform our broken immigration system, so that those who follow the law and want to contribute to the betterment of our nation will have the opportunity to do so. Government programs that encourage and incentivize abuse of the law must be reformed.”
Black is also scheduled to make a stop at JDC Coatings, Inc., from 3-4 p.m. at 206 East Division St. in Mt. Juliet.
John Deal Coatings started as a supplier of pressure-sensitive adhesive coated films for the screen printing industry, but has since expanded its technology and product base to provide products for the automotive, medical, computer disk drive, specialty and general industrial markets, according to the company’s website.
Black will then play host to an open house to talk one on one with constituents from 4:30-6 p.m. at the Wilson Bank and Trust community room at 1476 N. Mt. Juliet Road in Mt. Juliet.