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Amend obsolete immigration law

The Reverend Steven Jungkeit’s op-ed, “Reject today’s inhumanity, seek connections,” (June 3), reminds us that we must treat one another with the humanity with which we would be treated. His first example of those suffering from “the inhumanity of our moment” is the Rehman family, longtime undocumented residents, who have sought refuge from deportation since March in the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. 

This family, like others in Connecticut and beyond, have been provided refuge as their immigration status is re-adjudicated. But commendable as such altruism may be, it is only binding the wounds after the injury. We must prevent the injury by updating an obsolete section of immigration law. 

Over the past year, I have pled through letters, articles, personal encounters and telephonic conversations for Congress to update Section 249(a) of the 1986 Immigration and Nationality Act, which offers lawful permanent residence to qualifying longtime undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. continuously, and without a criminal history, since before January 1, 1972. Congress should update Section 249(a) to replace January 1, 1972, with June 15, 2007. One simple change of date! 

Contact your federal and state representatives, your clergy, and your professional associates to get behind this realizable, humane solution. 

Robert Kim Bingham, Sr.

Retired ICE attorney

Salem

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