How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

The proposed rule change for mixed-status families: What it does, doesn't do

This morning, the Obama administration announced a proposed change to the process for granting green cards to the undocumented spouses and parents of U.S. citizens, one intended to ease the long-term family separation endured by many as they wait abroad to re-enter legally.

It's a big deal. Then again, at least in terms of scale, not quite as big as it might seem.

The proposal, posted this morning in the Federal Register, affects people who are applying for a waiver to the three- or ten-year re-entry bar for those who have been living in the U.S. illegally, but wish to adjust their status through immediate family. The existing rule - one that won't change - is that most undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens who apply for a green card must return to their native countries to be processed, allowing them to then return legally.