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Minor changes in policy should not be used to inflame a political issue

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Posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 12:00 am

Regarding the column by Wade Heath in the April 5 edition of the Lodi News-Sentinel, I would like to point out the glaring inaccuracy in his opening paragraph.

Mr. Heath stated, "The Department of Homeland Security posted in an announcement online on Monday that they would be issuing 'unlawful presence waivers' to illegal immigrants in order to stop them from being deported."

The proposal actually states: "USCIS now proposes to amend its regulations to allow certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are physically present in the United States to request provisional unlawful presence waivers under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 prior to departing from the United States for consular processing of their immigrant visa applications." Previously, individuals would file this waiver after their departure from the U.S.

Illegal immigration is a serious problem. I am sure no one disagrees with that statement. However, for a columnist to either deliberately or inadvertently twist the intent of a minor change in policy that leads his readership to believe that special considerations are being given to certain individuals in order to prevent their deportation is reprehensible. If done deliberately, one can easily believe that the purpose is solely to inflame an already contentious issue. If done without having the correct information, it can only be interpreted as faulty journalism.

A correction to this misinformation on Mr. Heath's part is due to the LNS readership. I sincerely hope he will double-check his future columns to prevent this type of error.

Joanne Bobin


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