Before April 30, 2001, a provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act allowed illegal immigrants to pay a $1,000 fee to be eligible for permanent residency. Approximately 5,000 Chicago based immigrants were mislead into believing they had become permanent residents. The Chicago office of the Department of Homeland Security accepted the applications and money without verifying if the applicants were even eligible to be considered for residency. A class action lawsuit was filed alleging the government violated laws by accepting the applications, keeping the $1,000 fee, and using the information for deportation proceedings. The settlement covers people who filed applications with the Chicago office between January 29, 1997, and April 30, 2001. Those who are included in the class will receive a $1,000 reimbursement and be given the chance to ask the government to not actively seek to deport them. (Jul-16-05)
[QUAD CITY TIMES
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