Louise Cainkar / Religion & Politics
Just recently, Fatima,* a U.S. permanent resident originally from Yemen, received a letter from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asking for more information on her application for an immigrant visa for her husband of four years. Obtaining official paperwork from Yemen right now is not easy given the state of war, but she will proceed under the guidance of a U.S.-based attorney—a resource Yemenis almost always need to navigate the special requirements of U.S. immigration they face, which existed long before the Trump administration’s “Muslim ban” took effect. For more than a decade, Yemenis seeking to reunite their families have been subject to added burdens, such as providing years of financial data proving family support, DNA tests to prove paternity and maternity, and having to sue the U.S. government to move a file forward from a stalled position. Indeed, an immigration attorney told me seven years ago that “you almost have to sue the American government to get a Yemeni case processed.”
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